Morristown streets empty as St. Patrick's Day parade is canceled, curfew put in place

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City leaders around New Jersey have placed a curfew on businesses serving alcohol in locations like Jersey City and Morristown with the goal of keeping the coronavirus from spreading.

Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty imposed a curfew, meaning businesses with a liquor license must shut down by 10 p.m.

Brian Fitzpatrick, owner of the Grasshopper Off The Green in Morristown, says business was down 80% on Friday - the first night of the curfew.

"We have bands and DJs, karaoke etc., it's really tough," said Fitzpatrick. "We have to close at 10 p.m. I don't even know if it's sustainable right now to be honest with you."

Customers have canceled or postponed all of their catering orders through the beginning of April.

Fitzpatrick says on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, lines are usually out the door, but it's different this year as the Morris County St. Patrick's Day Parade is canceled and a curfew is in place.

Dougherty hopes the curfew will stop the spread of the virus by keeping large crowds from gathering in enclosed spaces.

The executive order also places an occupancy limit of 250 people at businesses like bars and nightclubs as recommended by Gov. Phil Murphy.

City officials say the curfew will be reviewed daily and public input is requested.

The Morris County St. Patrick's Day Parade has been rescheduled for Sept. 19.

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