Murphy discourages interstate travel, denies lockdown ‘rumors’

Gov. Phil Murphy discouraged New Jersey residents from engaging in non-essential interstate travel at a press conference held on Wednesday, citing an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread nationwide.

The announcement comes after the state scrapped its travel advisory list after every state except for Hawaii qualified for a 14-day quarantine.

“Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time,” Murphy said in a statement Wednesday.

Murphy discouraged New Jersey residents from traveling out of state on Wednesday. (Edwin J. Torres/Flickr).

Visitors from other states, with the exceptions of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware will be asked to quarantine in their home, hotel, or other lodging.

“If you do travel outside our immediate region, or if you are coming into New Jersey from another state, we strongly encourage you to observe a 14-day self quarantine, period,” Murphy said.

Travel will still be allowed with the nearby states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, according to the state’s COVID-19 information hub.

It is not clear how this will affect Seton Hall’s planned reopening for the Spring Semester, with classes scheduled to begin on Jan. 27.

On Monday, Murphy announced further restrictions on outdoor gatherings, limiting groups to 25 people. 

Despite the new restrictions, Murphy said that a statewide lockdown was not imminent.

“The rumors we’ve begun hearing about some impending statewide shutdown/lockdown are just that – rumors,” Murphy tweeted Monday. “We’re not in the same situation we found ourselves in this spring – when we had to take drastic actions to save lives. Today we see more moves on the board that we can take.”

The state reported 4,913 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s cumulative case count to over 350,000.

Daniel O’Connor can be reached at daniel.oconnor1@student.shu.edu. Find him on Twitter @itsDanOConnor.

Author: Daniel O'Connor

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