New York City and Los Angeles close bars, limit restaurants to takeout and delivery to stem coronavirus spread


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign an executive order that effectively closes restaurants, bars and cafes in the nation’s largest city to the public, limiting these establishments to takeout and delivery only in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Night clubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues will also close, according to de Blasio. The order goes into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.

“This is not a decision I make lightly,” the mayor said. “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.”

De Blasio’s decision comes hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City’s public school system, the largest in the nation with more than 1.1 million students, would close. Schools will shutter Monday and will remain suspended until late April, de Blasio said at press conference earlier on Sunday.

Cuomo declared a state of emergency last weekend and banned gatherings of 500 people or more last week, shuttering large concert and sporting venues as well as Broadway. But Cuomo resisted closing schools until his Sunday announcement and has not yet imposed statewide measures to limit restaurants and bars to carryout and delivery.

The virus has infected at least 729 people throughout New York state. Nationwide, there are more than 3,700 confirmed cases and 69 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

States across the nation implemented measures to stop the public from gathering in restaurants and bars over the weekend.

Los Angeles also temporarily shuttered its bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Sunday evening. Restaurants are also closing, except for takeout and delivery, he said. The Californian city’s measures take effect midnight and will remain in place until at least the end of the month, the mayor said.

The city’s measures come after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all “bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs and the like” to close. The governors of Ohio and Illinois have also closed restaurants and bars to everything but delivery and takeout.

Garcetti emphasized that there’s no food shortage and that grocery stores will remain open.

“We’re taking these steps to help protect Angelenos, limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and avoid putting a dangerous strain on our health care system,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together.

In Europe, Italy, France and Spain have closed all shops except those that are essential to daily life, such as groceries and pharmacies.

– CNBC’s Emma Newburger and Christine Wang contributed to this report.