New York City will close all movie theaters, concert venues, nightclubs and small theatres in a bid to tackle coronavirus.
Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the executive order will come into force on Tuesday, and described the disease as an “unprecedented threat”.
“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” de Blasio tweeted. “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: “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.”
Today, we made the painful decision to suspend classes in all NYC public schools, beginning tomorrow March 16. We’re going to begin remote digital learning on Monday March 23, and we’ll do everything in our power to help our kids through this.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 15, 2020
Describing the effect it will have upon the city, de Blasio said: “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.”
The decision comes after 3,482 cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in the United States, with the majority in New York state. At the time of writing, the disease has claimed the lives of over 6000 people across the globe.
In the wake of de Blasio’s announcement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also confirmed that the city will now shut movie theatres, concert venues and bars.
These are the emergency steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA, effective at midnight tonight. This isn’t easy & I don't make this decision lightly. We will do everything we can to help businesses & workers impacted during this time. pic.twitter.com/FAAOcRBDn7
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 16, 2020
Yesterday, it was confirmed that Universal Music CEO Lucian Grange has been hospitalised after testing positive for the disease.