The city that never sleeps is all but shutting down at night.
Mayor de Blasio on Sunday night ordered entertainment venues to shut their doors and restaurants to only serve take-out and delivery to contain the burgeoning coronavirus outbreak in the city.
The mayor took the “drastic step” in an executive order, effective at 9 a.m. Tuesday, decreeing that all nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues must close, while restaurants, bars and cafes can no longer serve dine-in customers.
“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,” de Blasio said in a statement.[More on Coronavirus] Ariana Grande urges fans to take coronavirus seriously »
Earlier Sunday de Blasio ordered city schools shuttered for at least a month, after days of mounting pressure.
“Now it is time to take yet another drastic step. The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle,” he said.
De Blasio expects to make the order official Monday morning.
“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,” he said. “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,” de Blasio said.[More on Coronavirus] Ariana Grande urges fans to take coronavirus seriously »
The mayor also postponed the Queens borough president race due to the outbreak. Early voting for the election began on Saturday, with election day slated for March 24. Details on the new date were not immediately released.
The measures come as top city elected officials earlier Sunday called on de Blasio to implement a lockdown along the lines of ones in France and Spain — a move the mayor suggested could come “very, very soon.”
The city announced 329 confirmed cases of coronavirus and five deaths as of Sunday.
“We are in a state of emergency and we must move quickly to mitigate the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19 on our city,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement. “All non-essential services must be closed, including bars and restaurants. We should keep essentials like grocery stores, bodegas, pharmacies, and banks open.
“And restaurants that can make deliveries should be able to stay open to provide delivery service for New Yorkers,” he added.[More on Coronavirus] Trial of multimillionaire Robert Durst suspended over coronavirus spread »
The plea came before de Blasio announced the city was closing all schools until April 20, effective Monday. Senior centers will also be closing down and offering only “grab-and-go meals,” the mayor said.
In a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday morning on WABC-TV, de Blasio insisted a lockdown would be a drastic step.
“Look at Italy … I feel for everyone there, they’ve gone to full shutdown,” Hizzoner said in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday morning on WABC-TV. “God forbid that ever happened here, because they have lost not just the year 2020, but they’ve lost 2021 and maybe 2022 in terms of creating a functioning society.”
“If we slip into much more of a shutdown, people have to understand all of the consequences of that and how long it will take to bring it back,” the mayor added.
Pressed on the issue at his news conference, de Blasio insisted “I don’t want to be at the point of saying literally no one can go outside.” But, he added, “We may say that very, very soon.”[More on Coronavirus] City Hall suspends visits to city jails amid concerns over the coronavirus »
He also conceded a curfew hasn’t been ruled out either. “Everything is on the table,” he said. “Curfew is one of the emergency powers I have under the state of emergency.”
De Blasio also asserted the NYPD will “absolutely be a part of” enforcement of the 50% capacity rule for businesses to eliminate the crowded conditions conducive to the spread of coronavirus. The FDNY is already cracking down on businesses not abiding by the new rule.
The FDNY and Department of Buildings will enforce fines for breaking the new rule, with the first fine set at $400, and escalating from there, the mayor said. If people are “intransigent” and refuse to leave a space, “they will be arrested,” the mayor asserted.
“We can’t afford those crowded spaces anymore,” the mayor said. “We wish there was something we could do otherwise.”
Earlier this month, Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world, began a national lockdown restricting internal movement until at least April 3. Schools, stadiums and other sites there have all closed, along with bars and restaurants and most stores. France and Spain have followed suit.[More on Coronavirus] Tennessee AG foils two brothers’ hand sanitizer price-gouging scheme »
Comptroller Scott Stringer joined the call for a Big Apple lockdown.
“Logic says we need universal testing but that’s sadly not happening,” Stringer tweeted Sunday. “Strategy says we need more aggressive social distancing. That is why today, out of an abundance of caution, I am calling for a city shutdown.”
Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn) fears the city has as little as a week to implement a shutdown — which would limit human contact — before the virus spread beyond the capacity of the health care system.
“This is all actually a call to stability,” he told the Daily News. “We dealt with 9/11, we dealt with Sandy … We can do something like this, but we need to be told that it’s gotta happen.”