Jersey City orders 10 pm curfew for bars and nightclubs

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The setting sun reflects off One World Trade Center and the skyline of lower Manhattan in New York City as the moon rises on March 7, 2020 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.

Gary Hershorn | Getty Images

The mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, implemented a 10 p.m. curfew Thursday for any of the city’s establishments that carry a liquor license. The new measure is an effort to reduce large crowds and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’re trying to be more proactive than most,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in an interview with CNBC.

Jersey City has not reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19, but Fulop said that people with the virus have probably passed through the city and that there may be unconfirmed infections.

New York City, which lies just across the Hudson River from Jersey City, has at least 62 cases as of Thursday afternoon.

The mayor’s executive order also requires establishments including places of worship, restaurants and event venues with a capacity greater than 25 people to have sign-in sheets that would make tracking potential exposure easier. All public meetings held by the city have been canceled as well.

Fulop acknowledged the likelihood of pushback from the city’s club and bar owners, but said the curfew is a “logical” step. He said a wide range of differing information from federal and state sources has made it difficult to determine a response to the virus.

“The one consistent thing is that it’s not good to have a large group in one place,” he said.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted earlier Thursday that he is recommending any gathering of more than 250 people be canceled, including parades, concerts and sporting events.

Fulop said he hopes there will be clearer guidelines and greater clarity from the state down the line, and that he is ready to adapt his policies when necessary.

“There’s no playbook on this,” Fulop said.

A hospital worker wearing protective equipment amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, stands next to an ambulance in Padova, Italy, on March 10, 2020

Massimo Bertolini/NurPhoto

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