NYC Orders Closure of Theaters, Bars, Limits Restaurants to Take-Out Orders

The order comes just days before St. Patrick's Day

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What to Know

  • New York City joins other tri-state cities ordering the closure of movie theaters and bars to curb the spread of COVID-19
  • Restaurants are allowed to stay open but are limited to take-out and delivery orders
  • The order comes just days before St. Patrick's Day, which normally brings a boost for many New York City establishments

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to sign an executive order on Monday ordering the temporary closure of nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues. His order will also limit restaurants, bars and cafes to take-out and delivery orders.

The executive order would go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m., the mayor's office 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," the mayor said in a statement late Sunday.

The order comes just days before St. Patrick's Day, a holiday that would normally boost business and revenue for countless New York City establishments.

Bartenders in New York City, like Jahnelle Smith, are preparing for the worst.

"I'm very nervous and I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't know how financially I'm gonna pay my bills," Smith said.

The same evening as de Blasio's announcement, many New Yorkers continued nightlife activities, venturing out to bars and restaurants.

And hours before de Blasio's announcement, the CDC recommended no gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

"I get that we need to be safe. I don’t wanna spread the virus," said Smith.

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