New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking no chances and has taken the huge step of closing all movie theaters in the city as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to theaters, nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues will all close while restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery.
De Blasio took to Twitter to make the announcement saying, “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.”
He added, “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,” he admitted. “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.”
Still, he maintained hope and it was clearly done out of precaution. “We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”
De Blasio’s news comes after Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered similar closures in California to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that large events and masses gatherings of 50 people or more in the U.S. be postponed for the next eight weeks. The New York City School District is also set to close on Monday due to the outbreak.