Marilyn Schlossbach, the owner of several New Jersey restaurants, told “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday that she doesn’t “know how many more blows the industry can take” after Gov. Phil Murphy announced that indoor dining has been postponed in the state.
On Monday, Murphy announced that New Jersey will no longer move forward with its Phase 2 reopening plan, which would allow indoor dining, as coronavirus cases spike throughout the country.
Part of the reason prompting the decision, he said, is that some New Jersyans aren’t following social-distaining rules, like wearing face coverings or staying six feet apart from one another in public.
“We have seen spikes in other states driven, in part, by the return of patrons to indoor dining, where they are seated, and without face coverings, for significant periods of time,” Murphy said on Monday.
New Jersey reopened outdoor dining June 15 after nearly three months of only takeout or delivery, but the governor said the move to allow eating inside restaurants is paused indefinitely.
Indoor dining had been scheduled to resume Thursday with 25 percent capacity limits, tables spaced at least six feet apart and face masks, among other mitigation measures.
Schlossbach said when she heard that indoor dining would no longer happen in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, she thought it was “fake news at first because it was two days before we were scheduled to go inside.”
“Then that lump in your throat when you just want to cry just hit me,” she added.
During a news briefing on Tuesday, Murphy said: “There are many, many bar owners and managers who have set up their establishments the right way.”
“One establishment ignoring the rules or even just one patron ignoring the rules can undo months of progress and ruin it for the rest of us,” she continued.
Schlossbach pointed out that the move doesn’t only affect restaurant owners, but employees and food suppliers as well.
She said that one of her restaurants does not have “outside coverage” and that’s “killing” her business there.
“So when it rains we can’t bring people inside to dine,” Schlossbach explained. “We can’t take reservations so we’re just winging it every time we open the door and it is not only hurting me and my business, but it is hurting all the staff because they’re confused and unsure what the day brings for them financially and it’s just been really stressful on everyone.”
When asked how she was planning to keep indoor patrons as safe as possible Schlossbach said, “We’ve been following all the protocols.”
“We had great cleaning teams in this week,” she continued. “Everyone has been going through the checks every morning, wearing their masks, being super vigilant, more than we normally are, which is an industry that does take sanitation really seriously to begin with.”
Schlossbach added that patrons have not been allowed into venues without masks.
As of Wednesday, New Jersey has reported 171, 667 coronavirus cases and more than 13,000 deaths, according to the state’s department of health. Host Jillian Mele noted that between Saturday and Tuesday coronavirus cases have increased by 760 in New Jersey.
Fox Business’ Shawn Carter contributed to this report.