BELMAR, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today issued a stern warning to bars and patrons of bars and restaurants that if they do not start complying with his executive orders, they will be shut down again and he’s going to give them one more chance to do the right thing.
“Bars and patrons need to get on the same page. Quickly. I’m going to give everyone a chance to do the right thing,” Murphy said today. “But if we have to shut places down to protect public health, then we will. Consider this your warning before you go out drinking this weekend.”
Murphy said despite positive signs in combating the virus in New Jersey, bars and restaurants are both risking the safety of everyone by allowing patrons to not follow state and CDC guidelines regarding face coverings and social distancings.
“So the decrease in RT, the low spot, positivity, those are clearly positive signs, but no one should look at that and think it means that coronavirus is no longer with us or that you can go ahead and leave your mask at home or join a big crowd waiting to get into a bar with your friends. Both of these, however, are exactly what hundreds of young bar-goers did this weekend at numerous shore bars,” Murphy said. “Once again, we are seeing documented news reports of numerous examples of bars that may have been trying to do the right thing once patrons got in but whose lines were filled with people, again particularly young people, who were neither being kept socially distant or wearing masks. I don’t think there’s any masks in that picture, Judy. If you can find one, let me know.”
Murphy was not shy about dropping names of the bars he felt were in violation.
“The bars, by the way – apologies in advance for naming you. They include Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant, D’Jais’s and 10th Avenue Burrito in Belmar, and Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. By the time these patrons would’ve even gotten in, this virus could’ve already easily spread just through the line. So folks, this is not a game. Standing around maskless in a crowd outside a bar is just as big a knucklehead move as standing around maskless inside one,” He added. “The patrons and these bars need to get on the same page and quickly. Your responsibility to help stop the spread of coronavirus doesn’t go on pause when you’re standing in line. I and Pat and others here are going to give everyone a chance to do the right thing, but if we have to shut places down to protect public health, then we will. Consider this your warning before you go out drinking this weekend.”