New Jersey Police Now Charging Restaurants for Maskless Employees; Olive Garden Among Three This Week

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AG Grewal announced that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) this week issued charges seeking to suspend for 10 days the liquor license of an Atlantic County bar, the Watering Hole Café in Hamilton, for allowing patrons to drink on premises in violation of COVID-19 emergency orders. Three other establishments were fined for violating COVID-19 mask requirements. Under executive orders issued by Governor Murphy, businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the state are permitted to remain open during the COVID-19 state-of-emergency, but only for take-out or delivery services of food and alcohol. No table or bar service is permitted, and on premise alcohol consumption is prohibited. Workers and customers are required to wear masks on the premises.

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The three establishments issued fines for violations of COVID-19 mask requirements included:

  • Olive Garden in Hamilton (Atlantic County) ($500) for allowing employees on premises without masks.
  • Sakura Japanese Steakhouse in Mays Landing ($500) for allowing employees on premises without masks.
  • Community Liquors in Ventnor ($250) for allowing customers on premises without masks.

Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.