Steve Callender, president of the New Jersey Casino Association, has vowed that, when a new slate of COVID-19 regulations comes into effect in the Garden State, patrons can still expect a first-class experience.
This follows New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ‘s announcement, which sees all restaurants , bars, clubs and lounges serving food and drink ordered to stop service from 10 pm-5 am. Outdoor dining can continue past 10 pm, as well as takeout and delivery services.
Casinos are not included in the time limit for indoor dining, but their gaming activities can continue around the clock. A capacity limit of 25 percent will still be in force, with tables now allowed to be positioned closer than six feet apart, but only if they are separated by barriers.
In addition, it would temporarily ban all interstate youth sports games, up to and including high school level. For college sports, this prohibition does not apply.
Murphy explained: “To be clear, the last thing I want to do, or any of us want to do is to shut our economy back down and thankfully, we are not at that point. Looking at the data, we are taking surgical steps that we hope will help mitigate the current increasing rate of spread.
“No one up here wants to take the type of broad and all-encompassing actions like those we had to take in March; we are acting with more precision-based actions based on what we’re seeing on the ground. However, with these actions, we need to change our mindsets.
“We have to shake off the pandemic fatigue that I know we all feel. I feel it, by the way, as well. And we have to get back into the mindset that saw us crush the curve in the spring.”
Reacting to the news, Calendar noted: “The Casino Association of New Jersey understands the administration’s concerns, and that is why the industry has taken extraordinary measures to safely welcome back thousands of hardworking employees and valued guests, while also helping to minimise the exposure of Atlantic City casino property guests, our employees, and our local community to the COVID-19 virus.
“We will continue to work to give our guests the exciting experience they have come to expect from our first-class properties.”
The additional constraints come as 9,524 additional cases were reported by New Jersey from Thursday 5 November to Monday 9 November, taking the cumulative total of the state to 256,653.
“As we see a rise in cases across New Jersey, we are focused on the health and safety of our employees, guests and fellow residents and will continue to work with AtlantiCare, our regional healthcare provider, as well as local and state officials, to refine and update our protocols as local and state mandates evolve,” Calendar added.
“We remain dedicated to complying with, or exceeding, local or state-imposed mandates, restrictions and occupancy limits to try to maintain a healthy environment.”