New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has ordered that restaurants, bars, gyms, and movies close by 8 p.m. Monday for the foreseeable future in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants and bars are closed for eat-in service starting Monday night after 8 p.m., until further notice. Eateries and other food businesses are allowed to offer takeout and delivery, Murphy said.
Groceries, pharmacies, and gas stations will remain open.
Other businesses may stay open until 8 p.m. daily if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 people and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Businesses that play a direct role in emergency response efforts or are necessary for the general public’s welfare such as supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices and gas stations may remain open past 8 p.m.
Murphy made the announcement on a joint conference call with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont just after 10 a.m. New York and Connecticut have adopted the same restrictions.
Non-essential and non-emergency travel is “strongly discouraged” between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily until further notice.
“We want everybody home, not out,” Murphy said. “We’re going to get through this, and we’re going to get through this as one family.”
The governors of all three states have also banned all public gatherings of 50 people or more in all three states.
Murphy is expected to announce more restrictions on Monday afternoon, including the closure of all public and private schools, and possibly a curfew.
Many area restaurants and food-related businesses have already announced that they are offering takeout service, delivery service, and/or drive-up service in order to protect the most vulnerable people in the community.
The bent spoon in downtown Princeton announced Sunday that it will be closed for walk-in retail shopping. Customers can still support the local business by ordering ice cream online. The bent spoon prefers backdoor pickup, but will also deliver in the Princeton, Hopewell Boro, and Lambertville areas.
Teresa Caffe on Palmer Square started offering curbside service last week, with a 10% discount for takeout orders placed by phone for curbside delivery.