TRENTON – As several states with indoor dining see spikes in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and some New Jersey restaurants are not following guidelines, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that indoor dining will be prohibited until a later date, to be determined.
During his daily press conferences on the coronavirus, the governor had been slowly reopening various businesses. However, with each step forward, he warned that there could be a step back if there were increases in numbers. This is one of them.
Today’s press conference took place right after a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx and others who appraised callers of the spiking numbers in other states.
Murphy also spoke of “knuckleheads” (one of his common terms) in New Jersey who were not following the rules for indoor dining. Some were owners of establishments, and some were patrons who believed “the rules don’t apply to them.” In these locations, there was overcrowding, a complete disregard for social distancing, and few if any masks being worn by staff.
Establishments that are not following the rules are few compared to the many who are, he noted. Regardless, “we must hit pause” on plans to reopen indoor dining until later.
Outside dining will not be affected by this move. Medical professionals have repeatedly said that the virus spreads quicker indoors.