While Jersey City was the first in the state to implement a bar and restaurant curfew back in March, Mayor Steven Fulop still isn’t convinced that’s the right move at this point as Gov. Phil Murphy (D) implements a new statewide restrictions on indoor dining.
“The Governor has said (and local data as well) that the recent spread is happening due to small gatherings in ppl’s homes w/friends + families. Closing restaurants/bars at a random time will only push people more towards those house gatherings that are the spreaders,” Fulop tweeted this afternoon.
“Secondly, my concern w/holidays around the corner this is going to trigger more restaurants letting go of large # of employees. No question + we’re already seeing more demand at food pantries.”
Minutes ago, Murphy announced that there will be a statewide indoor dining curfew of 10 p.m. as of Thursday. Casinos must stop serving drinks at this time as well, while outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery options will remain available.
Bar side seating is also prohibited until further notice, though tables can be placed closer than six feet together if separated by barriers.
He also addressed Fulop’s concerns directly during a question and answer session with the press.
” … He’s completely right with the risks that we have with any step we take: that folks will go indoors, into private settings – we just have to plead with folks not to do that. But that doesn’t mean that we should therefore turn our backs on what we know is not compliant behavior – particularly late at night and around indoor bars,” the governor said.
Murphy also stated that he spoke with Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Faucci over the weekend and is optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available by spring 2021.
“The good news is that a vaccine is on the horizon – we anticipate broad distribution by this spring. We have a plan ready should that timeframe hold. Let’s get through the remainder of this fall and winter together,” Murphy noted.
Last month, Fulop wrote that “it isn’t as if you can only get Covid at night” in response to Newark, Hoboken, and Paterson announcing some sort of local curfew regulations in hopes of alleviating the spread of COVID-19.