After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued “density reduction guidelines” calling for an eight-week ban on gatherings of 50 or more people, several movie-theater chains responded by capping the number of tickets sold per screening and meticulously cleaning theaters in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday evening, however, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio decided to call it, closing all movie theaters, nightclubs, and music venues as of Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m., and restricting restaurants to delivery and takeout only.
“The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle. Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery,” he tweeted. “Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.” “This is not a decision I make lightly,” wrote de Blasio. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”
Update, March 16: The ordinance has now reached three statewide levels. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that all movie theaters and concert venues will be closing in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. This will take effect at 8 p.m. on March 16. Additionally, the three states will be requiring every restaurant, bar, and “nonessential business” to close, although restaurants will be allowed to continue operating with delivery or takeout orders.
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