WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — The mayor of a Jersey Shore town is appealing Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to indefinitely close indoor dining, which was originally scheduled to reopen this week. Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron appealed the governor’s order on Tuesday.
Mayor Byron says the decision to postpone indoor dining “cripples” the restaurant industry even further and will be a “knockout punch” for some local businesses.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Students, Staff To Resume Masking As COVID Cases Continue To Rise In City
“The governor’s decision to postpone indoor dining cripples the recovery efforts of restaurants and will likely be a knockout punch for numerous local establishments,” Byron said. “Being the most critical time for our short seasonal economy, I believe it is imperative to return to restricted indoor dining without any further delay.”
Indoor dining was set to open Thursday, July 2 at 25% capacity, but was postponed by Gov. Murphy on Monday due to overcrowding and disregard for social distancing.
“We’re also moved to pause indoor dining because of what we’ve seen in some establishments across the state,” Murphy said. “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.”
While New Jersey has been successful at flattening the curve in the battle against the coronavirus, a surge in cases across the country is being driven by indoor dining.READ MORE: West Philly Double Shooting Leaves 30-Year-Old Man Dead, Teen Hospitalized: Police
Murphy says he recognizes that there are restaurants that are following the guidelines given by state officials, but the “carelessness” of those not following, can destroy the hard work done by everyone else.
The carelessness of one establishment can completely undo the good work of many others.
We will not tolerate outlier bars and restaurants – and, frankly, patrons – who think the rules don’t apply to them.
They are the ones who ruin it for everyone else.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 29, 2020
Byron says he’s confident Wildwood businesses will follow the social distancing guidelines needed to allow limited indoor dining. He noted that Cape May County has the fewest amount of cases in the state.
Restaurants had months to prepare their businesses to successfully serve customers while following the state’s social distancing guidelines.
“Obviously there are always people who ignore the rules and common sense even if it jeopardizes public health,” Byron said. “But, the actions of a few, shouldn’t cause such great harm to the majority of responsible businesses. I appeal to the governor to resume indoor dining as previously planned and give businesses and employees the opportunity to save their livelihoods.”MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Series Of Gunpoint Robberies In Center City, West Philadelphia
He added that restaurants have also already spent extra money on food supply, to rehire employees, and changing the layout of restaurants.