COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey is tapping the brakes on reopening the state. Indoor dining will not resume this week and is on hold indefinitely.
Of course, restaurant owners are disappointed with Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision. He said the decision was made after seeing reports of overcrowding, disregard for social distancing and a few people wearing masks at New Jersey restaurants.
“Today, we must hit pause on the resumption of indoor dining,” Murphy said.
We’re also moved to pause indoor dining because of what we’ve seen in some establishments across the state.
Overcrowding. A complete disregard for social distancing. Very few, IF ANY, face coverings.
The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media CANNOT CONTINUE.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 29, 2020
It was an announcement that caught restaurants by surprise. Dining establishments were gearing up to serve customers indoors this Thursday. but that’s now been put on hold.
“The national situation, compounded by instances of knucklehead behavior here at home, are requiring us to hit pause on the restart of indoor dining for the foreseeable future,” Murphy said.
The owner of Bistro Di Marino in Collingswood says the governor’s announcement caught him off guard.
“Very disappointing. Obviously, though it’s for the greater good of health and we’re all for that,” James Marino said.
Though Marino says it’s for the greater good, it does come with challenges.
“When we got the news that there was going to be a reopening, we started taking reservations. So now we’ll have to deal with how we’ll plan out on canceling these reservations,” Marino said.
Restaurants are now making the necessary adjustments to be in compliance with the governor’s mandates.
“Our revenues are all off no matter what business you’re in, but all entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they learn how to adjust,” Marino said.
Meanwhile, the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City will now not open Thursday as planned. It will remain closed until it’s safe to offer food and beverages.
There is no word on whether other Atlantic City casinos will do the same.