State Sen. O’Scanlon calls for COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted for bars, restaurants

A New Jersey state senator says that it is time for Gov. Phil Murphy to ease up restrictions limiting indoor capacity on bars and restaurants.
As the Super Bowl draws near, bar and restaurant owners are doing what they can to drum up business. Bars and restaurants in the Garden State currently must have 25% capacity limits and close by 10 p.m.
Just Jakes bar manager Kenny Hammond says that the bar is still busy, despite the restrictions. And he hopes that stays true on Super Bowl Sunday. He expects that some may even want to stick around for the end of the game.
“Although it’s a 6 p.m. start, maybe it’s kind of almost finishing up by 10 p.m. I get it, it won’t be,” he says.
State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon says that the restrictions should be lifted.
“There’s no reason for restauranteurs to kick people out at 10 p.m.,” he says.
O’Scanlon says that this isn’t just about the Super Bowl. It is also for 24-hour diners. And with COVID-19 numbers showing improvements, he says that it is time to ease limits on seating as well.
“The 25% capacity is long-passed due, where we can go to 50%. How do we know that? Just about every other state is at 50%,” he says.
Neighboring states like Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania are at 50%.
But the latest concern is a new variant of the virus that is said to be more contagious.
Some states have had to put a pause on indoor dining over the past few weeks. New Jersey has not had to do that since indoor dining resumed this fall.