Partying in Hoboken may lead to a $1,000 fine
One New Jersey city may soon start handing out fines up to $1,000 for noisy gatherings that flout the state’s indoor capacity limits and have led to a recent uptick in coronavirus cases, a report says.
Hoboken is expected to approve the crackdown on Thursday, which allows cops to issue $250 to $1,000 fines if the gatherings grow larger than 25 people, or one-quarter of a building’s occupancy, the Jersey Journal reports.
“This ordinance, which is fully supported by Police Chief Ken Ferrante, is meant to address a substantial health and safety issue of unruly house parties as it relates to COVID-19 spread, as opposed to peaceful get-togethers, although we strongly discourage gatherings of any type as well beyond household members,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said, according to the paper.
To get slapped with the fine, though, the party would have to violate at least one other law, such as a noise ordinance, the paper reports.
Over the last few weekends, cops have broken up numerous Hoboken house parties — parties that have led to an uptick in cases among people in their 20s.
“This ordinance addresses what appears to be the biggest contributing factor to the resurgence of cases in Hoboken,” said Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, according to the paper. “If public health and safety isn’t enough incentive for people to make common sense health choices, then hopefully the threat of a fine is.”
Indoor gatherings have been capped since August, when Gov. Phil Murphy allowed indoor dining to resume.
“If you’re seeing friends or extended family, please take the precautions of wearing a face mask and social distancing at all practical times, and doing so outdoors as opposed to indoors,” Bhalla wrote in an update to residents Friday.
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