The Hill

Restaurants, Bars Are Being Closed To Help Curb COVID-19 Spread

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that events involving 50 or more people should be disallowed and postponed to contain the virus. This means weddings, conferences, festival celebrations and concerts cannot be held until the pandemic dies down. 

Allowing people to congregate in public places of entertainment and relying on them to self-quarantine is not enough. A more collective enforcement is needed since the cases are continously on the rise. On Monday, President Donald Trump asked the American people to not take part in group gatherings larger than 10 individuals.  

To enforce this rule strictly, meet-up places such as restaurants, nightclubs and theaters have been ordered shut across several states by the respective governors on Monday and Tuesday. Some of the states that imposed the closure on non-essential businesses are Michigan, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina till March 30. 

Well, the seriousness of the shutdown is evidenced by closing down bars and restaurants in Nevada by Governor Steve Sisolak, as of Wednesday afternoon. Being the state of Las Vegas and the entertainment hub of the country, the closure of casinos for 30 days from Tuesday night is going to have an economic impact on people whose livelihood depends on thriving nightlife. In Nevada, delivery and takeout is allowed, just like other states. Essential requirements such as hospitals, gas stations and convenience stores, however, will remain open. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is one of the most proactive politicians in the country who was the first to call for the closure of schools statewide. “Establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery. What we can't have is people congregating and seated. Every day we delay, more people will die. If we do not act and get some distance between people, our health care system in Ohio will not hold up,” he tweeted. “The loss won't only be those impacted by COVID19, but the danger is also to everyone else who needs hospital care for other issues.”

Regional heads took it upon themselves to issue these guidelines because they did not receive urgent direction from Washington, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “States, frankly, don't have the capacity or the power to make up for the federal government. We’re doing the best we can, but we really need the federal government to do what it’s supposed to be doing,” Gov. Cuomo said, urging federal officials to take more stringent action.

This move will hit the economy hard, which is already on the downward spiral. Challenger Gray and Christmas, a firm specializing in outplacement services based in Chicago, estimates that the hospitality industry across California, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan have 4 million restaurant workers who stand to lose their jobs. 

restaurant-alcohol-bar-drinks Bars and restaurants have been ordered shut across states such as California, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Michigan. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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