Governor Pledges Action Against Asbury Park

At his June 11 news conference, Gov Murphy said there “will be some action taken” against Asbury Park following the city’s decision to allow indoor dining at restaurants beginning Mon., June 15.

He did not elaborate on the action that will be taken.

The city’s decision to open indoor dining goes against Murphy’s executive order which allows outdoor dining beginning June 15, but not indoors.

Murphy said  his administration is “actively engaging” with Asbury Park officials over the matter, adding the city’s actions are inconsistent with his Executive Order.

“We can’t have one set of rules for one town and another for other towns,” he said.

At its City Council meeting this week city officials voted to allow  businesses to operate indoor food and beverage service with a capacity limit of whichever number is lower – 25 percent capacity of the dining room or 50 people.

The council said although it  approved indoor food and beverage service with restrictions, businesses should be aware this could be overruled by the state.  Since Governor Murphy has not yet allowed indoor dining, participating businesses could be considered in violation of Executive Orders and may be subject to fines by the state.

“We are excited to reopen Asbury Park,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, “COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our community. As council, it is our responsibility to do everything that we can to help our struggling businesses rebuild while keeping our residents and visitors safe during this pandemic. The Governor’s Executive Order No. 152 already allows indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and we simply decided to extend it to food and beverage service.”

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