Hoboken announced via its Nixle alert system that starting Thursday, October 29th, bars and restaurants will temporarily be required to close at 12 midnight. The notification was sent from Mayor Bhalla, who said he would be signing an executive order to close all dining and bar establishments at that time daily until further notice to prevent a greater spread of COVID-19.
“With health experts predicting a substantial rise of cases during the winter months, and a second wave already upon us here in Hudson County and New Jersey, I believe the time is now to begin taking additional precautions against the threat of COVID-19 spreading indoors,” the press release stated. “To that end, to limit situations when social distancing and other precautions are much less likely to be followed and to take a proactive approach at reducing gatherings indoors, I will be signing an executive order closing all bars and restaurants at midnight, seven days a week. This order will take effect as of Thursday, October 29.”
The press release went on to address if the City can shut down bars and indoor dining completely and limit to take-out only, as what happened several months earlier during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — noting that the State now has the right to order shutdowns, but municipalities can amend hours of operation for establishments.
“While we did have this authority in the beginning of the pandemic during mid-March as our shut-down orders pertaining to bars and restaurants came under the City’s emergency declaration powers, the State has since issued an Executive Order conferring this authority exclusively upon the states and away from municipalities. Notwithstanding, authority still remains with municipalities to amend hours of operations,” the release continued.
“With infections rising, the last thing we want is for Hoboken to be the location where large amounts of people are encouraged to come and party late at night, when social distancing and other health precautions are much less likely to be observed,” Mayor Bhalla wrote.
This order comes as a second wave of the Coronavirus in New Jersey is predicted by health experts to be on the horizon — and Halloween is taking place this weekend. In Hoboken in the last week, there have been 32 cases in the last 7 days. In Jersey City, there have been an average of 21 new cases per day, according to last week’s statistics.
You can view more about the daily case count on our COVID-19 tracker for Hoboken + Jersey City here.
It is updated as more information is released from each municipality.