UPDATE: Since this post was published, the timeframe for shutting down NYC venues has been moved up. All restaurants, bars, cinemas, clubs and theaters will now be closing at 8pm on Monday night.
#BREAKING: NY, CT and NJ are taking joint regional action to reduce the spread of #COVID19:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 16, 2020
Effective 8PM TONIGHT:
-Crowd capacity reduced to 50
-Restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery ONLY
-Movie theaters closed
Public life in New York City is about to go dark. Starting Tuesday, March 17 at 9am, all restaurants, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, theater houses and concert venues will be closed to the public, in a decisive effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Takeout and delivery service will still be possible. No end date to this policy has been set.
In a series of tweets on the night of Sunday, March 15, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made the following announcement:
"Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago. We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.
"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.
"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. 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.
"We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers."