Social Distancing Is Coming To Bars In California, New York, Michigan, and More

It's a drastic attempt to slow the spread of the virus and save lives

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, state leaders in the United States are calling for closures of bars and restaurants – a strict move in an attempt to enforce the social distancing that the Centers for Disease Control says will slow the spread of the virus and save lives.


Gov. Mike Dunleavy limited all restaurants and bars statewide to take-out and delivery, effective Wednesday (March 18), according to KTOO Public Media.

"History has shown us that, whether it be fire, earthquakes, blizzards, volcanoes, or this present pandemic, Alaskans perform courageously under pressure," Dunleavy tweeted.


Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Sunday (March 15) that he would close all bars, nightclubs, and wineries. Some city mayors in the state have also required that gyms, movie theaters, and other venues close until further notice.

“These are profoundly significant steps and they are significant steps from two days ago,” Newsom said in a news conference, according to The Guardian. “We’re guided deeply by what’s happening, not just by anxiety, not just by fear, but by a very pragmatic response to meet this moment without creating other unintended consequences.”


Gov. Jared Polis announced on Monday (March 16) that all bars and restaurants in the state will close for the next 30 days, the Denver Post reported.

“There will be a time when we want to celebrate those local small businesses again,” Polis said at a news conference, according to the Post. “When it’s safe, we want to celebrate in bars and clubs. We want to dine out. That day is not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not likely to be next week or the week after.”


Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Monday (March 16) that all restaurants and bars will close, beginning at 8 p.m. Monday night, according to the Hartford Courant. The governor also announced that there will be no more gatherings of more than 50 people, and gyms, casinos, and movie theaters will also close. They will remain closed until further notice.

“We must do everything we can as a community to slow the spread of this virus so that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system and we protect the most vulnerable,” Lamont said. “Viruses do not know borders, which is why taking a regional approach on this issue is the best plan forward. A national approach to these measures would be the best option to slow and mitigate the spread of this virus.”


Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday (March 17) that the state is closing all bars and limiting restaurant occupancy to 50 percent, the Herald-Tribune reported. There is a limit of 10 people at beach gatherings.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Sunday (March 15) that all bars and restaurants must be closed from Monday (March 16) evening through March 30, according to Chicago’s WGN9.

“There are no easy decisions left to make as we address this unprecedented crisis,” Pritzker said Sunday. “As your governor, I can't allow the gravity of these decisions from taking the measures that the science and the experts say will keep people safe.”


Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced on Monday (March 16) that bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are required to close through the end of March, according to the Indy Star. They will be open for take-out and delivery services.

"The state is taking unprecedented actions to slow the spread [and] every Hoosier should follow the precautionary measures," Holcomb tweeted.


On Tuesday (March 17), Gov. Kim Reynolds closed all bars and restaurants with the exception of take-out and delivery services, according to Iowa Gazette reporter Lyz Lenz. The governor also closed gyms and churches.

"These are unprecedented times and the state of Iowa will do whatever is necessary to address this public health disaster," Reynolds tweeted.


Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Monday (March 16) that he will order all restaurants and bars to close.

“We’re going to have exceptions in there for drive-thru, for delivery but we are to the point now that this is a step that we have to take,” Beshear said, according to CNN.


On Monday (March 16) Gov. Larry Hogan shut down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms in the state, the Baltimore Sun reported.

“We should continue to expect the number of [COVID-19] cases to dramatically and rapidly rise,” Hogan said. “This is going to be much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding."


Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Sunday (March 15) that he will limit gatherings to fewer than 25 people, and order restaurants to be takeout only from Tuesday (March 17) through April 17.

“We know that a lot of the measures we are putting into place, including mandatory school closures and prohibiting gatherings of 25 people or more, will cause disruption in people’s day-to-day lives,” Baker tweeted. “With the steps we are taking today, we can ensure residents can still access key state services while taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.”


Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist announced Monday (March 16) that the state would temporarily shut down bars and restaurants until further notice.


Gov. Tim Walz announced on Monday (March 16) that the state would temporarily close all restaurants and bars, with the exception of takeout and delivery services. Movie theaters, gyms and fitness clubs, cafés, bowling alleys, bingo halls, hookah bars, arcades, and country clubs will also close from Tuesday (March 17) through March 27, at least, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.

“We’re seeing people still congregate in large numbers,” Walz said. “We need to stop congregating.”

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday (March 16) that all movie theaters, gyms, and casinos will be temporarily shut down. Bars and restaurants will allow takeout only, and gatherings are limited to fewer than 50 people until further notice.

“We do not take any of the steps we’ve announced today lightly. We know that these will impact residents and families, communities, and businesses,” Murphy tweeted. “But our paramount concern is to #FlattenTheCurve – these steps will ensure we do not overload our health care system.”

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday (March 16) that all restaurants and bars will be limited to takeout and delivery, beginning at 8 p.m. Monday night, the New York Times reported. Gatherings are limited to fewer than 50 people, and gyms, casinos, and movie theaters will close. They will remain closed until further notice.

“Our primary goal is to slow the spread of #Coronavirus so that the wave doesn’t crash our healthcare system,” Cuomo tweeted. “Social distancing is the best way to do that.”

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday (March 17) that he plans to limit restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery orders, according to the North Carolina News and Observer.


Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Sunday (March 15) that all bars and restaurants in the state must close until further notice, according to the Cleveland Scene.

“I'm aware that this will impact many, many good workers. I can't tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering,” DeWine tweeted. “It is our goal for everyone to get through this.”


On Monday (March 16), Gov. Kate Brown ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants with the exception of takeout and delivery services, according to the Register-Guard. The new rule will go into effect on Tuesday (March 17) and will last at least four weeks.

“Basically, can your business do the equivalent of restaurant takeout?” Brown said. “If you cannot do that, I strongly urge you to close your doors to customers temporarily.”

Rhode Island

On Monday (March 16), Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered all restaurants, bars, coffee shops to be limited to takeout and delivery until March 30, the Providence Journal reported.

"I am mindful of the economic impact of this directive," Raimondo tweeted. "Many restaurants are small businesses, and shutting down dine-in services is a huge blow. I want you to know we’re doing everything we can to support you and your employees through this difficult time."

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Tuesday (March 17) that bars and restaurants had to close in-house service, The State reported.


According to Texas Tribune reporter Alexandra Samuels, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Thursday (March 19) banning gatherings of more than 10 people; closing all bars and restaurants with the exception of take-out, delivery, and drive-thru services. He also closed all gyms, and temporarily closed schools.


Gov. Phil Scott announced on Monday that all bars and restaurants will have to limit orders to takeout or delivery, the Burlington Free Press reported.

"I want Vermonters to know we’re continuously evaluating other mitigation steps and we’ll continue to communicate those as they are put into place," Scott tweeted. "We will get through this, but it'll take all of us doing our part."


On Sunday (March 15), Gov. Jay Inslee announced the shutdown of restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities until further notice. Restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery service.

“I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities. But every hour counts as we bend the curve of infection,” Inslee tweeted. “We have, and will continue to take steps to mitigate those challenges.”

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice announced on Tuesday (March 17) that all restaurants and bars in the state will close, according to the Charleston Gazette.


On Tuesday (March 17), Gov. Tony Evers announced that all bars and restaurants will close in the state and all gatherings of 10 or more people are banned, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. The state also extended the closure of all public schools indefinitely.

This is a developing story. MTV News will update it as we know more.


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