Asbury Park, NJ gives restaurants blessing to defy state COVID lockdown

Restaurants in Asbury Park, New Jersey are clear to resume indoor dining starting Monday, city officials have ruled — in defiance of Garden State Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus shutdown.

“We believe indoor restaurants can run in a safe manner provided they are subject to all the requirements outlined in Executive Order 152,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, according to The Asbury Park Press.

A City Council vote in favor of the move was first reported by The Coaster, a local outlet.

Under Murphy’s order, outdoor dining can resume on Monday, but indoor dining remains a no-go.

Quinn, however, said that they’ll look the other way on indoor dining in the seaside city, so long as restaurants cap admissions at 25-percent of their stated capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower, the report said.

The state, however, is another matter.

“While the municipality of Asbury Park is allowing this, it is in violation of the executive order,” Quinn acknowledged, according to The Asbury Park Press. “While the city of Asbury Park is not going to levy any fines against you, the state of New Jersey could.”

During a Thursday press briefing, Murphy urged the city to reconsider.

“We have come too far, folks, to see all the good 9 million New Jerseyans have done undone in haste,” he said, according to Patch.

Murphy vowed to crack down on dissenters in Asbury Park and across the state, though he did not specify how.

“We’ve gone through hell,” he said, according to Patch. “Let’s please not go back through it.”

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