TRENTON, NJ –  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his ally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have been tied at the hip during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Often, the two governors jointly write and share executive orders.

Typically, those orders have been complimentary business closures and even a mirroring order back in March of 2020 to send infected senior citizens into nursing homes.

They both have said it was the right decision and both now blame the nursing homes for the death crisis that plagued both New York and New Jersey during the pandemic.

Today, they issued the following joint statement regarding the slow reopening of the economy in both states.

Governor Phil Murphy and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New Jersey and New York City will expand indoor dining capacity to 50 percent beginning March 19. Currently, New Jersey and New York City restaurants are operating at 35 percent capacity and the rest of New York State is operating at 50 percent capacity. This follows Governor Cuomo’s announcement that restaurants outside of New York City will expand to 75 percent capacity beginning March 19.

“In New Jersey, we will continue to move deliberately, responsibly, and incrementally, guided by public health data,” said Governor Murphy. “We feel confident in this step given the improving metrics we have seen over the last several weeks in both New Jersey and New York City, as well as the continued ramp-up of our vaccination program. Our states will continue to work together to protect the health of as many residents as possible.”

“In New York State, our decisions are based on science and data and we are encouraged by the continued decline in infection and hospitalization rates,” Governor Cuomo said. “In partnership with the State of New Jersey, we have adjusted with rigorous testing and limited capacity indoor dining openings in New York City to expand to 50 percent. We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy and reach the light at the end of the tunnel together.”

These capacity increases are part of both state’s continued efforts to jump start their post-COVID recovery and reinvigorate the economy. New Jersey last expanded indoor dining on February 5, 2021. During that time, the number of hospitalizations in the state has dropped by over 1,000 and has remained consistent. Since New York City indoor dining was reopened on February 12, two COVID-19 incubation periods have passed without any significant rise in infection and hospitalization rates. This expanded capacity is subject to strict state guidance.

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