New Jersey governor says a full reopening could happen soon

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Friday, April 30, 2021
New Jersey governor says a full reopening could happen soon
As New York City eyes up a full reopening date, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says restrictions could be lifted soon as well.

COLLINGSWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Coronavirus cases continue to fall throughout the tri-state region. In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday the city may fully reopen by July 1.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the Garden State could see restrictions lifted soon as well.

"If we keep up that work together, folks, we're going to open this sucker up wide sooner than later," said Murphy at an event in Newark.

He said the state had 2,092 new Covid cases Thursday, hospitalizations fell below 1,700 and the state's transmission rate fell below 0.80 for the first time in eight months.

New cases over the past two weeks are down 28%. Murphy also announced that on May 10, proms, weddings and other events can resume, along with expanded outdoor capacities.

Schools in New Jersey should be entirely in-person by the fall, the governor has said.

The state is pushing to get 70% of its adult population vaccinated by June 30. That's 4.7 million people, Murphy has said. So far nearly 3 million people have been fully vaccinated in the state.

This is the kind of data businesses still crippled by restrictions have been waiting for.

Action News got a quick tour Thursday evening of The Ritz Theatre in Haddon Township. Right now they're busy inside making some upgrades after more than a year of being closed.

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Sleek blue bracelets are now the symbol of COVID-19 vaccination for one business inside Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market.

"We haven't done anything. We've been closed. Me and my staff have all been furloughed," said theatre founder Bruce Curless.

But he says soon they'll be running a kids camp and maybe in September a full schedule of shows.

"I'm sure there's a lot of reluctancy on coming back to us, but I believe in what Gov. Murphy is helping us do, and we will follow his instructions," said Curless.

Dining out at Villa Barone in Collingswood we met two customers who agree with Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan, saying it's time to reopen.

"It's nice to get out and support the businesses in Collingswood. This is great," said Shanna Horn of Marlton.

"With more vaccines out, more people are able to get out and feel more comfortable," said Felicity Garey of Tabernacle.

Villa Barone employee Tommy Foy doesn't think restaurants should have any more restrictions.

"I think having a mask up but then sitting at a table with no mask, there's not much logic to it," said Foy.

He's hopeful for a great summer season with a full dining room.

"Having a great time, laughing and enjoying a meal with each other, seeing that for us does a lot," said Foy.

Across state lines, officials in Philadelphia are also hoping to fully reopen soon, but an exact date has not been set.

"Our timeline will be driven by science and transmission rate of the virus, as it has been throughout the entire pandemic. The key to reopening fully is getting as many people vaccinated as possible and fortunately, accessing a vaccine has never been easier. All Philadelphians age 16 or older are eligible and urged to visit or call 311 to find a convenient vaccination site near them," said the Philadelphia Health Department in a statement.