New Jersey bars, restaurants charged for not following COVID-19 rules

New Jersey’s attorney general announced Friday that he’s seeking to suspend the liquor license of 10 bars and restaurants that have violated the state’s COVID-19 rules.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the businesses failed to comply with Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders, which require bars and restaurants stop indoor dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The laws also require owners to enforce social-distancing rules and require the wearing of face masks.

The shortest suspension of a liquor license that the AG is seeking s 15 days, and the longest is 115.

“It gives us no pleasure to take these actions, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in this state to do their part,” Grewal said in a statement.

“Results of our enforcement sweeps thus far demonstrate that the majority of licensees are following the Governor’s orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those who flout curfews, seating restrictions, face covering mandates, and other mitigation measures will face consequences.”

Grewal said the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control held nearly 500 random inspections and found 90 percent of establishments followed the state’s COVID protocols.

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