NJ easing indoor capacity restrictions and curfew restrictions ahead of Super Bowl

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Indoor capacity at restaurants and other businesses in New Jersey will increase to 35%, up from the current 25%, and they will be allowed to stay open past 10 p.m., Governor Phil Murphy announced.

The relaxation of restrictions begin Friday, February 5, and affects restaurants, gyms, other personal care businesses, performance venues, amusement and recreation facilities, casinos, and indoor gatherings that are religious ceremonies/services, wedding ceremonies, political activities, and memorial services/funerals

The call to allow restaurants to stay open was really aimed at the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Bar areas will remain closed to seating.

However, Governor Phil Murphy taking it a step further allowing for indoor dining to stay open beyond 10 for the near future.

Governor Murphy says indoor business capacity will increase to 35%, from the current 25%, capping capacity at 150 people.

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Businesses will also be allowed to stay open past 10 p.m. with local jurisdictions having the authority to put into place their own restrictions on hours.

Murphy said that he felt comfortable with the decision because of the reduction in hospitalization rates.

"We are able to take steps forward today because of the millions of you who have taken responsibility for ending this pandemic to heart, through constant social distancing, wearing your face masks, and exercising common sense," Murphy said on Twitter.
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Raw Video: Gov. Murphy announces NJ is increasing restaurant indoor dining capacity to 35 percent.

Restaurants say reducing restrictions might help a little but they need more.

"It's a step in the right direction, it will help, it's not going to solve the problem. The curfew being lifted is such a good thing for us. We're all happy here," said Andrew Rigie, NYC Hospitality Alliance. "Especially the 35%. I know it's only a 10% jump, but it adds a lot, it's a big difference for us. It allows us to keep people employed, and keep more people moving. Economically, it's night and day."

The extended hours in Hoboken and also in Jersey City will giving the cities along the Hudson River an advantage to restaurants in New York City.

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