New York City is taking even further precautions against the global coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all movie theaters, nightclubs, small theater houses, and concert venues in the city to close starting Tuesday.
“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 went on to write, “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.”
de Blasio was quite transparent about the effect it will have on the city, contending, “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 arrives as 3,600 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the United States with New York state leading the way, according to state and local health agencies, governments, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also most certainly adds another blow to the entertainment industry, which is already bracing for billions of dollars in losses across all mediums.
Update: Los Angeles has also followed suit. On Sunday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that movie theaters, concert venues, bars, in addition to gyms, bowling alleys, and arcades will close beginning midnight PST.
You can find a complete and updated list of all of the major cultural events canceled or postponed by the coronavirus here.
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.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 16, 2020