In the midst of panic, fear, and isolation, New York City and Los Angeles are closing down its doors to live event spaces out of precaution.
On Sunday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all movie theaters, nightclubs, small theaters, and concert venues to close starting Tuesday. He noted that just a week ago, “our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable.”
“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 neighbors,” he said in a tweet. “Now it is time to take another drastic step. Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars, and cafes to food take-out for delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00AM.”
de Blasio said that while this is a decision he didn’t make lightly, “these places are part of the heart and sole of our city” and “our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti followed suit, calling all movie theaters, concert venues, bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and arcades to close beginning Monday at midnight PST.
“Our decisions will determine the fate of our loved ones, the length of this crisis,” Garcetti said in a press conference. “We need to take these steps to protect our city right now…The work we do now will have an impact on the city’s history. We need to do everything now to stop the spread of the virus.”
Both mayors’ decisions follow widespread cancellations last week. Live Nation cancelled the remaining concerts throughout the month of March, all Broadway shows announced they will close until April, and multiple sports leagues called-off or postponed their remaining seasons. The coronavirus has officially been deemed a pandemic, and the U.S. called for a nationwide emergency over the weekend.
As of Monday morning, the worldwide death toll due to coronavirus passed 6,500, CNN reports.