Gov. Murphy increases indoor dining capacity, lifts statewide curfew


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday that he would relax COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and bars, increasing capacity and lifting a curfew for indoor dining.

Murphy issued an executive order to allow indoor dining capacity to be 35% starting Friday, up from a 25% limit that had been in place since September.

“I feel confident in signing this order because of the recent trends in our hospitals and our rate of transmission,” Murphy said at a press conference, noting that the COVID-19 hospitalization count has gone down 20% over the last three weeks.

“We believe that we can make this expansion without leading to undue further stress on our health care system.”

Murphy also will lift a statewide curfew of 10 p.m. that has been imposed on indoor dining since November

Counties and municipalities, however, can still enforce their own curfews after 8 p.m., Murphy said.

The new rules go into effect ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday — a usually busy day for restaurants and bars.

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