New indoor dining COVID-19 restrictions take effect; no service between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s new indoor dining restrictions took effect Thursday in the governor’s latest effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges must close indoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. taking effect today,” Murphy said during his COVID-19 briefing. Bar seating is also banned completely
But bar and restaurant owners say that they fear that this is a step in the wrong direction as the establishments are just getting back on their feet from the last round of virus restrictions.
“I understand because the numbers are on the rise. It does hurt us, customers are not happy,” says Travis Young, owner of Elysian Café in Hoboken.
Young says that his business was doing well over the summer and into early fall. But he says that now that has come to a halt because of the new restrictions.
“People don’t always just drink at the bar. Sometimes they come to grab something quick to eat. It’s just them. And they are more comfortable sitting at the bar,” says Young.
Young says that he understands why the state is cracking down once again. But he says that he and other business owners are already doing their part to stop the spread of the second wave of the virus. He says that he hopes that these are the only new restrictions that will be put into place this fall.
“We just hope we don’t have to go back to just delivery and take out. Hope and pray we can keep people coming and keep people safe,” says Young. “As business owners, we want to keep our customers coming back. And if we’re keeping them healthy, we are keeping them going back.”
Murphy also issued another executive order on Monday that will allow municipalities and counties the option to regulate the operating hours of nonessential businesses that are stricter than what the state has put into place.