Gov. Murphy bumps up restaurant limit to 35%, lifts prohibition on indoor restaurant and bar service, starting Friday

Gov. Phil Murphy says he will relax COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and bars, bumping up indoor capacity to 35% from 25%, beginning Friday.
Murphy also announced Wednesday he was lifting a prohibition on indoor restaurant and bar service that started at 10 p.m. That order went into effect in November. He says the changes will take effect at 8 a.m. Friday.
All indoor bar areas will remain closed.
Murphy said the changes are possible because hospitalizations due to the virus have gone down by about 20% over the last three weeks.
“We believe that we can make this expansion without leading to undue or further stress on our healthcare system,” says Gov. Murphy.
Bars and restaurants now can stay open past 10 p.m., but towns can set their own limits after 8 p.m. The governor reminds residents to remain careful and not allow any Super Bowl party to become a super spreader event. 
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.