LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today criticized restaurant owners who are trying to skirt his ban on indoor dining by opening front doors and windows, saying those restaurants are in violation of his ban on indoor dining.
“For clarification and warning, we are seeing some restaurants which are attempting to serve patrons indoors by merely opening their street-front windows,” Murphy said. “To be clear, this is not allowed. Unless your restaurant has open sides that amount to at least 2 of your four outer walls, you can not seat diners insider your premises, you can only serve diners outdoors. As with outdoor gatherings, we will look to local officials to enforce this restriction.”
Murphy said the only way reopening in New Jersey will continue is if everyone starts following the rules and stop trying to make “end runs” around his rules.
“This is not a game, this is about public health and safety,” Murphy said. “I fully understand the hardships our restaurant industry faces, but we cannot move forward if a few knuckleheads think the rules don’t apply to them or they think they can skate by with a wink and a nod.”
Murphy said the state remains in a public health emergency and everyone needs to get it together.
Last week, the Murphy administration identified a Forked River based diner, the Lakeside Diner who has been serving patrons indoors since June that they will face enforcement. That action came after Murphy’s administration facilitated the arrest of Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, owners of the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr for reopening their gym.