New Jersey Governor Warns Against New Year’s Eve Gatherings: ‘Only Your Immediate Household’

Human hands holding glasses with sparkling wine. Friends or family toasting with champagne against festive Christmas table and decorated new year tree. Winter holidays celebration at cozy home.
Getty/Tat'yana Andreyeva

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) urged residents on Monday to refrain from ringing in the new year with individuals outside of their household, pressing New Jerseyans to reduce celebrations and strictly adhere to coronavirus protocols, including masking up and practicing social distancing.

“IMPORTANT: This New Year’s Eve, we urge you to keep to a small gathering of only your immediate household,” Murphy began, stating that the new year should begin with residents “staying vigilant” regarding the Chinese coronavirus by practicing social distancing, masking up, and handwashing:

The Garden State reported 2,745 new cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the statewide cumulative total to 463,965. The positivity rate for all PCR tests recorded on Christmas Eve stood just short of 11 percent.

The governor also reported 21 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 16,706 since the start of the pandemic.

He also took an opportunity to criticize President Trump for not immediately signing the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government spending bill Congress passed last week, estimating that a half million New Jerseyans “will not be receiving federal unemployment benefits this week” due to the delay.

“I agree that more stimulus was and remains needed, but this was the wrong way to go about it,” he said, emphasizing that the commander-in-chief should have signed the bill “immediately as a down payment” — a phrase House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also used:

New Jersey is currently discouraging all nonessential interstate travel and urging travelers hailing from areas outside of the region to self-quarantine upon arrival.

“The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected,” the state’s website reads.

Officials in New Jersey imposed new restrictions on outdoor gatherings this month, reducing the number from 150 to 25. It also limited indoor gatherings to ten people with limited exceptions.

Murphy revealed this month that the vast majority of residents, 74 percent, were refusing to cooperate with contact tracers.


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