Murphy caps indoor gatherings at 10 just in time for Thanksgiving — NJ Top News 11/16
Gov. Phil Murphy is imposing new rules on indoor gatherings that could impact the plans of many this Thanksgiving. Speaking MSNBC, Murphy said he will allow no more than 10 people to gather indoors. He is capping outdoor gatherings at 150. The governor also continues to discourage holding a large Thanksgiving dinner and/or other holiday celebrations.
The indoor restrictions take effect Tuesday while the reduced outdoor capacities will begin on Monday, Nov,. 23, according to messages on Murphy's Twitter account. Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the day some restrictions go into effect.
He also said that indoor religious services, celebrations and political events, weddings, funerals and memorial services and performances will continue under the current rules.
State health officials reported nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases this weekend. That is a new record in New Jersey, and higher than what we seeing during what many believe was the peak of the initial coronavirus wave in March and April. Murphy has repeatedly said all options are on the table with regard to restrictions designed to curb this second wave. He has ordered indoor dining halted at 10 p.m. daily and seating at a bar. He has also given local municipalities greater power to restrict business activity to respond to local outbreaks.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed a 10 person cap on indoor gatherings last week. Murphy and Cuomo joined a conference call with regional governors to coordinate their response to the pandemic.
Murphy said on WPIX 11 the restrictions will not affect indoor dining, which remains capped at 25 percent of a restaurant's normal capacity.
“It’s not indoor dining. Indoor dining remains at 25% capacity. It means any gathering and that certainly does mean in your private setting. We’re pleading with people to have a small Thanksgiving with just the people you live with,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he's avoiding a further restriction on indoor dining for now because "we’ve taken pretty aggressive steps already. If we have to we will. The restaurant industry has been crushed.”
More will be coming from the governors regarding travel, quarantining and returning university students.
“There’s a portfolio of numbers we look at and do we reserve the right sadly to have to shut everything down we have to with these numbers," Murphy said.
He said enforcement will include "everything from taking your liquor license away to closing your establishment without question. It’s harder to do if it’s in a private setting but we’ll do everything we can to enforce compliance.”
Also: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is hoping more of you will tattle on your boss and your neighbors.
In the first week of new workplace restrictions, 380 complaints were received on a state hotline set up to report violations. The new rules call for all employees to be screened daily, require mask wearing for almost all employees, require social distancing and mandate that workplaces provide employees with PPE and frequent breaks for hand washing. It's not clear what happens to the alleged violators, but the state could impose fines and take legal action to have a business shut down.
Other New Jersey Top News:
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- Even though Murphy has announced he is not closing down all NJ schools, the number of districts that are moving to remote learning is growing.
- Jersey school Fall sports are facing an abrupt end amid a spike in coronavirus. Some Jersey parents are rallying to save them.
- What is the future (and cost) of telehealth visits in New Jersey?
- Law enforcement officials are ramping up efforts to stem a deadly and violent trend that began to unfold earlier this year.
- Another independent cinema closes it's doors amidst the pandemic.