On November 12, Governor Murphy released Executive Order 195, which allows municipalities and counties the option, should they so choose, to enact an 8 p.m. curfew for nonessential business operations, such as “Main Street” small retailers, personal care service businesses, and restaurants due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. It does not, however, allow local and county governments to prevent restaurants from pickup or delivery service.
This latest measure was announced on the same day that the Governor’s new 10 p.m. curfew went into effect for all indoor dining at restaurants and bars statewide. The new Executive Order does not, however, allow local or county governments to ease curfews beyond the statewide 10 p.m. mandate should they find it safe to do so based on local health data – only strengthen the curfew to an 8 p.m. business closure.
Executive Order 195 is a shift from the Governor’s consistent stance that all business openings/closures must be done in a statewide, one-size-fits-all fashion. However, this decision remains disappointing given that local governments cannot use the same decision-making process to loosen curfew restrictions should the health data reflect that it is safe to do so. A copy of Executive Order 195 can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Hilary Chebra, Manager of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.