'VIRUSES DON'T KNOW BORDERS:' NY, NJ, CT jointly ban gatherings more than 50, take-out/delivery only for restaurants, gyms and theaters closed


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The morning after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city's restaurants will only be allowed to do takeout and delivery -- while clubs and theaters must close -- similar statewide bans were announced for all of New York state, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Viruses don't know borders," tweeted Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. "#CT #NY & #NJ are taking a regional approach to reduce spread of #COVID19."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Monday morning: 

"#BREAKING: NY, CT and NJ are taking joint regional action to reduce the spread of #COVID19:  Effective 8PM TONIGHT ... Crowd capacity reduced to 50  ... Restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery ONLY  ... Gyms closed -Movie theaters closed -Casinos closed."

The closures are until "further notice," Cuomo later announced at a press conference. 

The governors said essential businesses such as supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open after 8 p.m.

De Blasio said Sunday night that on Monday he would "sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said it was a "sad moment for our city but necessary."

De Blasio explained, “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 admitted, "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. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality."

The steps mark the latest escalation of efforts to keep people apart in the New York metropolitan area in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus, and an attempt to coordinate a regional response in the face of what the states' Democratic governors called lagging federal action.

“It's chaos. I think it actually feeds the feeling that the country's out of control. There is no clear direction, there is no clear path,” Cuomo said during a joint conference call with the other governors.