By Tony Winterburn • 16 March 2020 • 8:44
New York’s mayor has ordered restaurants, bars and cafes to only sell food on a takeaway or delivery basis as the city battles to halt the spread of COVID-19. In a written statement, he said: “This is not a decision I make lightly.
Broadway will go dark for at least a month beginning Thursday after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced restrictions on public gatherings, an extraordinary step to fight the growing outbreak of the coronavirus.
Mr. Cuomo’s decision to limit gatherings of more than 500 people was an especially heavy blow to the theater industry, a crown jewel of New York City’s tourist trade. Last season, the industry drew 14.8 million patrons and grossed $1.8 billion.
All 41 Broadway theaters have at least 500 seats, and most can accommodate audiences of more than 1,000.
The restrictions were announced just hours after other cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall announced that they would be suspending visits and performances.
Broadway theaters suspended performances through April 12, according to a statement from the Broadway League, a trade organization that represents producers and theater owners.
Under the guidance announced by Mr. Cuomo, most gatherings of more than 500 people will be banned. Smaller gatherings will still be allowed, but restaurants, bars and other venues with capacities of fewer than 500 people must cut their occupancy by half.
The United States has surpassed 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to at least 61, with 25 of the deaths associated with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington.
The federal government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, did not rule out a temporary nationwide lockdown of restaurants and bars on CNN. Other countries such as Italy, France, and Spain have already ordered complete lockdowns of non-essential business in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. South Korea, which has seen the fourth-largest number of cases at just over 8,000 as of March 15, hasn’t resorted to a lockdown but has instead focused on widespread testing, though many businesses are nonetheless closed.
Los Angeles followed suit and issued the same directives, in a bid to ease financial pressures, stock futures plunged Sunday night, despite unprecedented emergency action from the Federal Reserve, which announced a rate cut.
Donald Trump made an address to the nation and told the American public not to panic buy and that there is enough food for everyone.
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