Patrons, business owners express concerns over effect of omicron variant on dining
With colder weather settling in and the emergence of the omicron variant, could this affect your future indoor dining experience?
It's been almost a week since South Africa first alerted the world to the omicron variant.
Not only have we seen confirmed cases of this new variant in other parts of the world, but just this week cases were officially confirmed in New York and now in New Jersey.
But is hearing about this new variant dictating how New Jersey residents spend their Friday nights?
West Long Branch residents Dawn and Rich Pittala popped into Homesick on Cookman Avenue Friday evening for drinks. They say they're both vaccinated and boosted but hearing about the omicron variant does give them pause.
"With the extra attention brought to it, and we're seeing the numbers going in the wrong direction, yes, it's starting to make us think twice," said Rich Pittala.
Outdoor dining has become the norm, but as the temperature drops, restaurant goers will soon be forced to go back inside.
"Less people are coming out. I would put a lot of that towards the weather, but then I've also seen a lot of people coming in with masks, which we saw a pause with for the summer," said Emma Brandimarte, Homesick General Manager.
Outside of the nightlife factor, another concern about the emergence of this new variant is what it could mean for how people spend the holidays this year.
Since COVID-19 vaccines were introduction, infectious disease experts say the risks associated with gathering are lower this year than they were last year.