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Bars and restaurants to be limited to takeout and delivery

March 16, 2020 Victoria Merlino
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Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery orders only, and all entertainment venues, casinos and gyms will be temporarily closed in the latest measure New York State is taking to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

The new limits will go into effect starting 8 p.m. on March 16 across the state, according to an announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is implementing the restrictions in conjunction with New Jersey and Connecticut. 

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa.” 

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered similar restrictions for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in New York City on Monday. 

“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” de Blasio said in a statement. “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.”

State officials announced that residents can buy carryout beer, wine and liquor from restaurants and bars during the mandated closures, though details of the plan have not yet been announced. 

These announcements come as the latest in a series of increasingly stringent measures from the city and state government as officials try to stem the spread of COVID-19, among them yesterday’s announcement that New York City would close public schools, and postpone the Queens borough president special election.

There have been 463 reported cases in New York City as of March 16 at 11:30 a.m. Seven people across the state have died, including a woman from Brooklyn

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