Murphy defends abrupt reversal that put the brakes on indoor dining

Mike DeNardo
June 30, 2020 - 3:51 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is defending his decision to postpone Thursday's planned resumption of indoor dining, saying it's an effort to stay one step ahead of the coronavirus. 

Murphy said he understands that restaurants may have stocked up on food for indoor dining, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. But he said with coronavirus cases spiking in the rest of the country, he didn't want to run the risk of fueling a rebound in New Jersey.

"I have enormous sympathy for the challenges that our restaurateurs are going through, and the thousands of dollars I don't take lightly for one second. But there's also 15,000 lives that we've lost and we're trying to save every single one going forward,” he said. 

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Murphy mentioned scenes of people crowding at bars not wearing masks. 

He was asked why not just take action against the bars where his social distancing orders were being violated. He responded, saying violators could lose their liquor licenses. 

There are now 16 states on the list from which visitors would have to quarantine if coming to New Jersey. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. 

The state announced 461 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to 171,667 cases.