Coronavirus: At 8 PM tonight, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will close its bars, restaurants and gyms

Coronavirus: At 8 PM tonight, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will close its bars, restaurants and gyms
(Getty Images)

New York is set to shut down all its bars and restaurants at 8 PM on the night of March 16 for "as long as necessary," Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. The shutdown will also include casinos, gyms and movie theaters in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Neighboring states — Connecticut and New Jersey — have also joined in the efforts, according to reports.

Cuomo, in a tweet on March 16 morning, made the announcement, adding that the current "patchwork quilt" system of some states being more vigilant than others is not working.  The Democrat had earlier urged President Donald Trump to shut down the country to combat the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in America.

Although the shutdown had been planned for March 17 morning at 9 am, the governor sped up the process and announced: "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."

People walk through Manhattan with surgical masks as fears of the coronavirus spreading through the U.S. increase on March 04, 2020 in New York City. Travel, business, schools and other aspects of American life are beginning to be affected by the virus as new cases emerge (Getty Images)

Cuomo said that the three state authorities decided to take action themselves as the federal government was not being decisive enough. "The #Coronavirus doesn't care about state borders, so this agreement will help protect the entire Tri-State Area," he said. "These temporary closures will last as long as is necessary to protect the public health. Grocery stores will remain OPEN."

"Our primary goal is to slow the spread of #Coronavirus so that the wave doesn’t crash our healthcare system. Social distancing is the best way to do that," he added. "I have called on the federal gov't to implement nationwide protocols, but in their absence, we are taking this on ourselves."

Cuomo, in an interview on Good Morning America earlier, had said that it did not make any sense for him to take stringent actions in New York if neighboring states like New Jersey and Connecticut did not take them too as people would simply migrate and spread the virus.

"This government has to get more engaged. There’s been no country that hasn’t handled this on a federalized level," he said.  "This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work. It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.  I close the bars? They go to jersey. You need specific rules.  Every state cannot come up with its own rules, you’ll just have people going from state to state.  You’ll go to New Jersey, Connecticut, wherever you can be served. That’s the last thing we want.  Set the national standards and let’s live with them."

Nearly 3,700 people have been infected with Covid-19 in the United States, and has claimed at least 69 lives.

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