A New Jersey state senator is again calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to eliminate the 10 p.m. curfew for indoor dining.
In early November, Murphy signed an executive order prohibiting restaurants, bars and other establishments from offering indoor dining from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“Our restaurants have been suffering massive economic hits since March with seemingly no end in sight to 25% capacity restrictions and the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew,” state Sen. Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said in a statement. “But time and again the industry has proven that they are not the nexus for new COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Restaurants as a whole have followed the rules and restrictions laid out for them, they’ve endeavored to make their establishments as safe as possible to protect their patrons and staff,” O’Scanlon added. “They deserve an increase in capacity to 50% … and the removal of the curfew evidenced by the lack of outbreaks traced back to restaurants.”
O’Scanlon has criticized both the curfew and the 25% limit on indoor dining, which has been in place since September. The lawmaker called on the governor to act before the Super Bowl.
“As we’ve said time and again, we should be encouraging people to go to restaurants that have ventilation and safety measures in place instead of congregating in large groups in private house settings,” O’Scanlon said.
“We have a consistent record in the state of stabilizing our rate of transmission and further, of contact tracing that shows definitively that restaurants are not the source of new outbreaks,” O’Scanlon added. “They have been struggling for months, patiently implementing new safety protocols and complying with the administration’s executive orders. If anyone has proven they are deserving – and capable – of some safe restriction removal, it’s this industry.”
A spokesperson for Murphy did not immediately respond to a request from The Center Square for comment.
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