From the Star Ledger:
Two days after Asbury Park revealed it would violate Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus lockdown orders and allow restaurants to offer indoor dining starting Monday, Murphy announced Friday the state was suing the Jersey Shore’s premier dining destination to stop that from happening.
“We have worked with the governing body of Asbury Park to try to amicably resolve the issue of their resolution regarding indoor dining. Unfortunately, they have not done so,” Murphy said during his daily coronavirus briefing in Trenton.
“We have one set of rules and they are based on one principle: ensuring public health,” the governor added.
Asked if he would send the State Police to Asbury Park if restaurants do reopen indoor dining, Murphy declined to comment, saying the issue is now “subject to a legal proceeding.”
Asbury Park’s city council shocked the state Wednesday when it voted to allow restaurants to open for indoor service on June 15, at 25% capacity or 50 customers and staff, whichever is lower. That came two days after Murphy raised limits on indoor gatherings in the state to those levels as New Jersey’s COVID-19 outbreak slows.
But while Murphy has said outdoor dining will be allowed across New Jersey on June 15 as part of the state’s Stage 2 reopening plans, he stressed indoor dining remains prohibited, even under the new gathering limits. Murphy said the new limits were designed more to allow houses of worship to have larger services again.
On Thursday, Murphy warned Asbury Park and any other towns or businesses that violate his orders that there will be enforcement. He said the goal is avoiding new spikes in cases and deaths that other states have seen lately.