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Murphy Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions, Says Vaccine Coming Spring 2021

New Jersey restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges must close indoor dining at 10 p.m., effective Nov. 12.
New Jersey restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges must close indoor dining at 10 p.m., effective Nov. 12. Photo Credit: El Tango Grill Instagram

Gov. Phil Murphy announced new COVID-19 restrictions in the midst of New Jersey's second wave.

Murphy also said he spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend, who was "unequivocal" when he said a vaccine will be ready in April or May.

"We're in a sprint for the next six months," Murphy said.

The governor remained hopeful a vaccine would be ready for wide distribution in Spring 2021, as long as "all the tires have been checked.

"A vaccine doesn't mean we're back to where we were," Murphy said. "But it [will be] a hugely different environment. We've got to use that.

"We have a plan ready should that timeframe hold. Let’s get through the remainder of this fall and winter together."

Since last Thursday, New Jersey has recorded an additional 9,524 additional cases – an average of 2,381 each of the past four days.

"A second wave is here," Murphy said. "This is our reality.

"We must redouble our efforts and recommit to the practices that have gotten us this far – social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing our masks."

Here are the new restrictions.

Beginning Thursday, Nov. 12, restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges must stop indoor dining from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Outdoor dining, takeout and delivery services can continue past 10 p.m.

Casinos must also stop serving food and drinks at 10 p.m., but can remain open for gaming. Bar-side seating will also be prohibited.

Restaurants can place tables close than six feet apart only if separated by barriers.

Individual, fully-enclosed dining bubbles may be set-up for outside use but are limited to one group per bubble, and must be disinfected between groups.

All youth indoor interstate sports games and tournaments up until the high school level are prohibited.

"We remain in the midst of a global pandemic," the governor said.

"Our country is recording more than 100,000 cases per day.

"We have to snap back into reality – this virus hasn’t gone away, and it is posing its greatest threat to us in months."

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