Gov. Murphy: Towns cannot make their own rules when it comes to reopening

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday pushed back against towns that are defying his executive orders.

News 12 Staff

Jun 11, 2020, 11:40 PM

Updated 1,413 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday pushed back against towns that are defying his executive orders.
Restaurants in New Jersey can begin offering outdoor dining on June 15 as the state slowly reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But indoor dining is still way off, according to the governor.
But Asbury Park officials voted on Wednesday to allow indoor dining on June 15, despite the executive order. Murphy’s order says that retail businesses can have customers inside as long as they adhere to 25% capacity or 50 people – whichever is less. Asbury Park officials say that they interpret this to mean restaurants as well.
“This is really about businesses being on the brink and believing that we can keep our residents and businesses safe by opening at 25% capacity,” says Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn.
But the governor condemned the decision, saying that there cannot be separate sets of rules for each town.
“My job, frankly, is not to worry about the next headline or frankly, the next election. It’s about keeping that rate of transmission down. It’s about saving every single life that we can save together,” Murphy says.
Quinn says that the decision is not about defying the governor, but about saving businesses in the town, which have taken a major financial hit during the pandemic.
“No question about this town being overwhelmingly Democratic, and this isn’t about trying to anger the governor, this is truly not at all,” she says.
Murphy says that there is evidence that reopening too quickly can cause more harm than good. He references several states that have seen new cases of COVID-19 increase after reopening.
“Texas, Georgia and Florida, states which rushed to reopen. These are the states the news is full of today. States which are now seeing an increase in hospitalizations, in ICU counts and more residents going on ventilators,” he says.
The governor says that his administration and local police departments will enforce his orders. This usually means a warning or summons to a business not in compliance.
“We’re not trying to bigfoot people. The facts are the facts. Inside sedentary, no ventilation, close proximity is hard. Will we get there? Yes, and God willing, I hope sooner than later,” Murphy says.
The governor says that he is not sure when he might announce reopenings for indoor dining or for gyms.


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