Murphy: No indoor dining, bars after 10 p.m.
The beleaguered restaurant industry in New Jersey will take another hit in Gov. Phil Murphy latest round of restrictions, to be announced Monday in an effort to stop the surge in positive coronavirus.
Among the restrictions Murphy will put in place effective Thursday:
- No indoor dining permitted or alcohol can be served between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. at restaurants, bars, lounges and casinos.
- No seating at indoor bars, although groups can be seated at tables closer that 6 feet as long there is a plexiglass barrier between them.
- Outdoor "dining igloos" — enclosed domes to protect patrons from the elements — will be allowed for individual groups.
- Restaurants will be able to offer takeout and outdoor dining hours are unlimited
Murphy calls the restrictions "smart strategic steps" to keep the state open for business.
During an appearance on Fox 5 New York, Murphy said he not putting the state back on a full lockdown.
“This is not where we were in the spring. We’re not shutting the whole place down. But we do know that there are certain areas when restaurants stay open late people’s habits get sloppy. When you sit at a bar, (the) transmission rates we’re seeing are high," Murphy said.
Murphy will also announce that indoor interstate sports competition will end for elementary, middle and high school students. He said transmissions don't appear to be coming from playing scholastic sports, but "from adjacent activities."
The NJSIAA said in a statement it welcomes Murphy's ban on interstate sports competition and said out of state competition was already prohibited for winter sports in its COVID-19 guidelines.
"While today’s announcement doesn’t alter our current guidelines, it does support our limitations on indoor sports activities.”
The governor asked people again to keep up their guard inside their own homes.
“Far and away the most rampant transmissions are happening in private spaces. We gotta plea with folks to stay strong. It looks like we’ll have vaccines that are effective. I spoke to Tony Fauci on Saturday, we have the Pfzier news this morning. This is not forever and always. This is basically six months," Murphy told Fox 5.
NJ.com was first to report the new restrictions.