The 10th District Legislators are calling out Governor Murphy for excluding restaurants and bars in his latest press conference announcing plans to expand indoor and outdoor capacity for wedding venues, graduation ceremonies and funerals. The lawmakers believe the industry hit hardest by the pandemic should be prioritized and the expanded reopening of restaurant and bars is needed now.
Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalano criticized the governor for his ‘major announcement’ that failed to address the desperation of New Jersey’s restaurant and bar industry and called for COVID limits to be relaxed immediately. (Pixabay)
“Our make-or-break summer season is fast approaching and the Governor continues to ignore the plight of restaurant and bar owners by not increasing the capacity limits,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “The industry has been forced to make drastic safety changes to comply with Murphy’s orders, but without the ability to serve more patrons, the future looks bleak for many establishments. These bars and restaurants are crucial to our local economy, and they demonstrated that they can safely and responsibly serve the public. It is time to give them more discretion, as neighboring states have done.”
The economic impact of the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the industry which still being forced to operate at 50 percent capacity. Without any word from the Governor’s Administration on when restaurants and bars can fully reopen, the 10th District Legislators believe announcements such as this are merely political schemes aimed to generate headlines.
“The only way to combat the economic devastation caused by these restrictions is to allow for a continuous reopening of restaurants and bars,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “As we see our COVID numbers decrease, there is no reason people cannot sit at bars again or enjoy an indoor meal at their favorite restaurant. The best Mother’s Day gift Murphy could give would be to increase restaurant capacity now.
“We have gone from ‘flattening the curve’ a year ago to barring businesses from opening up fully,” continued McGuckin. “It seems our governor is more concerned with promoting his press conferences and getting clicks on his releases than saving jobs and businesses.”
Effective May 10, indoor room capacities for private catered events such as wedding and proms, political events, funerals, memorial services, and performances will increase to 50 percent with a maximum of 250 individuals.
“Whether he wants to or not, Governor Murphy needs to address the concerns of restaurant and bar owners as we start to get into the busiest time of year,” concluded Assemblyman Catalano. “I commend the resiliency of this industry to endure the challenges caused by COVID and the Governor’s restrictions, but it’s time to start getting life back on track as so many other states have already done so. The economy of our shore towns depends on it.”
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