Business owners relieved as no additional COVID restrictions announced in New Jersey

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- No new restrictions on businesses were announced by New Jersey officials on Friday. However, officials did announce 10 restaurants that will have their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for public health violations.

Gov. Phil Murphy encouraged residents to patronize their local eateries, saying most of them are doing the right thing.

"We are trying to be as surgical as we can be," said Murphy. "So, if you're not doing the right thing, it may not be tomorrow but we're going to find that out and we're going to catch up with you. And you will pay a price for that."

Business owners were able to breathe a sigh of relief as no new restrictions were announced after new measures were taken in New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

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But it's still tough going for many New Jersey restaurants, as they are limited to 25% capacity indoors and under a 10:00 p.m. curfew for indoor dining.

Braddock's Tavern in Medford normally hosts sold-out events with Santa and carolers. Now, they're trying to get creative with a festive tent for more outdoor seating - with a twist.

"We're going to show movies. We're going to put a screen in there. So, you can watch Elf, White Christmas while you're having dinner," said managing partner Bob Wagner

With two weeks until Christmas, Alex Breaux, the co-owner of Wonder World Toys in Medford, was hoping for no more restrictions.

She's relieved her customers can still come in and shop. But she said after this year that was full of adaptations, she's ready for anything.

"It's been a fun shift of learning how to do things. So we opened the online store, we also have been doing curbside delivery, and doing complimentary local delivery," said Breaux.

And while revenues at Atlantic City casinos are down, gaming and hospitality experts at Stockton University say a sharp increase in online gambling has softened the blow for 2020.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino prepared to bring back live music for the holidays with an indoor concert Friday night. The indoor venue is restricted to 10% capacity, with temperature checks at the door and small groups seated in pods. Masks are mandatory.

"Tables are six feet apart at minimum, they're 10 feet apart if you're in the front row - the table is 10 feet from the stage. Just to ensure social distancing measures," said Nikki Balles of Hard Rock Atlantic City.
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