UPDATED: In a press conference held on Sunday afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all restaurants will have their occupancy levels cut in half and all bars will be closed to stop the coronavirus spread.
A few hours later, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced a more sweeping decision to close all movie theaters, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and gyms in the city until at least March 31.
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Newsom made the first announcement that all bars, night clubs, wineries and brew pubs are non-essential locations and will shut down. The Governor then stated that restaurants are a more “nuanced” issue and that the state doesn’t believe they require a total closure at this time. However, all restaurants’ occupancy levels will be cut in half, and patrons will be required so socially distance themselves in dining areas.
Further stressing social distancing, Newsom also urged that people over the age of 65 and people with chronic health issues stay indoors.
This message comes days after the governor banned all gatherings in California over 250 people. That being said, the governor did not address the closing of movie theaters in this announcement.
Watch the press conference below:
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) March 15, 2020
During the conference, Newsom said that 335 people have tested positive for coronavirus in California. The new tally of positive tests marks a 14 percent increase from yesterday. There have been six deaths from the virus in the state, with the sixth taking place in San Mateo county, where 32 cases have been recorded.
The announcement comes two days after President Trump declared a national state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. travel ban was extended to include the U.K. and Ireland. The North American box office took a brutal hit this weekend after several theater chains limited their capacity to allow for social distancing. Overall, the box office hit a 22-year low point.
On Saturday, France also took precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus. The country closed all movie theaters, restaurants and non-essential stores. Places like pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and newspaper stands still remain open.
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