HOBOKEN, N.J. — This is the first weekend that bars and restaurants have to adhere to new coronavirus restrictions in the Garden State.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order mandating bars and restaurants to call it a night at 10 p.m.
It may have come at the right time, as New Jersey set a new record one-day high for cases reported on Saturday.
While some understand that COVID-19 cases are up, they aren’t sure the answer is a last call at 10.
“I don’t think COVID goes to sleep after 10,” said one reveler, who wonders if the curfew will cause bars and restaurants to become more crowded early on instead of spreading things out through the night. “Before 10, it’s way more packed then it usually would be before 10 which I feel like it’s just consolidating that traffic the restaurants would get in a shorter time span.”
For restaurant owners like Jim McCue the virus has been a nightmare.
He says profits are down 75% and the changing rules are hard to keep up with.
“The issue is now is that outside is open until midnight and inside is open til 10, that’s the chess match so to speak, how do you get people to go outside, especially when it’s cold?”
The numbers of positive cases in New Jersey are continuing to rise at alarming rate.
The state reported 4,395 new cases on Saturday, the highest known number of daily infections recorded since March.
Some hard hit areas like East Orange and parts of Newark are putting a more drastic 8 p.m. curfew on non-essential businesses.
Outdoor dining can continue after 10 p.m. and restaurants can keep their food delivery going.