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O’Scanlon calls on Murphy to allow indoor dining at 66% capacity

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Senator Dubs Murphy’s 25% standard as a “Timidity Tax”

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon today called upon Governor Phil Murphy to raise the limit at which New Jersey restaurants can operate indoors from 25% of their capacity to 66%.

The Monmouth County Republican noted that we’re approaching the first colder weather weekend of the season and that there has been no spike in COVID-19 cases or Rt since the Governor allowed indoor dining at 25% over the Labor Day weekend.

Temperatures are forecast for the 50’s and 60’s in New Jersey this weekend, making outdoor dining undesirable for most.

“We’ve been months behind surrounding states reopening indoor dining and our economy has suffered greatly for it,” said O’Scanlon. “At this point, we are facing our first ‘colder’ weekend with only 25% indoor dining allowed. The Governor said it would be 10 days before they could determine the impact from our Labor Day weekend reopening. Well, here we are twelve days later and no significant increase in cases or RT. We need to go to 66% indoor dining immediately. Without doing so we’ll just see yet another weekend pass – this one with chilly weather – and dozens of businesses fall victim to the Governor’s Timidity Tax.”

Last month O’Scanlon released a chart of several surrounding states including their history of RT and reopening status.

“New Jersey has continually moved the slowest towards reopening out of any state, even our neighbor New York allowed individual counties to open up for dining as they met certain safety metrics. Yet here in New Jersey we kept the entire state shut down without even a regional option, all completely unscientifically founded,” O’Scanlon continued.

O’Scanlon has been a vocal advocate against withholding indoor dining reopening, often highlighting the number of restaurant owners who have called pleading to save their livelihoods.

“Our continued delay in reopening has been shown to be demonstrably devastating to businesses and with virtually no health benefit. The Governor’s timidity has continuously proved to essentially be a death sentence for hundreds of businesses that have shuttered their doors for good, unable to keep waiting for the scraps the Governor is doling out inexplicably slowly.”

“We have all the other evidence from the other states where they have much higher indoor dining rates than we do, and for months! Here we are twelve days later and we are seeing exactly what every other state is seeing, transmission rates have remained within a consistent range, hospitalizations are flat, and overwhelming evidence that it’s time to move forward and stem the needless economic bleeding,” O’Scanlon concluded.


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