Cuomo orders bars and restaurants to close for on-site service at 8 p.m. until further notice
Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus - or COVID-19 - throughout the tristate area.
These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 o'clock tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.
The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on-premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 o'clock tonight.
Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms, and casinos, effective at 8 o'clock tonight.
This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
"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," Governor 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.
"I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence, we are taking this on ourselves."
Governor Murphy said, "With all we are seeing in our state - and across our nation and around the world - the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I've said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family.
"But if we're all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn't just up to some of us, it's up to all of us."
Governor Lamont said, "The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives."
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Local bar and restaurant owners, email [email protected] with the details of your delivery/pickup plans. Include the name of the business, hours of operation, link to a menu if available (or send us a PDF and we can host it for you), and phone number and we will include you in a post about local restaurants offering the service.