NJ wants to suspend these 10 bars for violating pandemic protocols
State regulators are seeking to suspend the liquor licenses of 10 bars and restaurants for violating public safety protocols during the pandemic.
The businesses, located in every corner of the state, are accused of allowing patrons to sit at the bar, serving patrons past curfew or not making sure people in the establishments wore masks. The full list is below.
One of Gov. Phil Murphy's recent executive orders, which took effect Nov. 12, bans serving of food or drink indoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., reduces indoor capacity to 25% and completely disallows anyone from sidling up to the bar.
Other safety protocols include mandating face coverings for patrons and staff and requiring that all patrons remain seated at tables that are spaced at least 6 feet apart.
The Attorney General's Office, which oversees the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said Friday that regulators have conducted 500 random inspections of bars and restaurants and found that 9 out of 10 were complying with the pandemic protocols.
Public health officials say indoor bars and restaurants are among the riskiest places for people during a deadly pandemic. Unlike large shops or supermarkets, for example, people in bars and restaurants are more likely to be exposed to stale, uncirculated air under lower ceilings and tighter spaces.
People in bars also tend to linger longer, increasing their potential exposure to the virus, as well as to talk and shout, which spreads the virus farther.
New Jersey began allowing limited indoor dining in September. On Friday, Murphy said New Jersey would be be "staying with what we got" even as neighboring New York joined Pennsylvania is shutting down indoor dining.