New York City businesses ordered to close
New York City has become the latest major centre to impose a shut-down of all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, cafés and bars. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered operators to close by Monday morning, US Eastern time. The orders allow for businesses to offer only take-away and delivery.
It joins a growing number of governments, at both the local and state level, in the US to implement such measures.
The shutdown has been put in place after weeks of tough trading conditions as operators attempted to encourage diners to continue frequenting bars while maintaining strict hygiene and social distancing practices. It comes less than a week after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic and with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the US rising above 4,100.
It’s the largest city in the US to shut down, but the city that never sleeps is not the only municipality to enforce social distancing with government-ordered closures, as well as reduced capacities and curfews. States including Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania as well as the nation’s capital, Washington D.C, have mandated all hospitality businesses cease offering dine-in.
In Europe, Italy, France and Spain have already forced closures after seeing a rapid spread of COVID-19.
Globally, many restaurants are making the call to close on their own. Earlier this week, chef Rene Redzepi announced Noma, the world no.2 restaurant he runs, will close until at least 14 April.
Here in Australia, Sydney-based operators have told Hospitality they are preparing for similar conditions to be implemented in the coming weeks, as numerous states and territories enact States of Emergency.
While the measures are extremely tough on businesses, social distancing is the best known method for reducing transmission.
As the outbreak continues to affect hospitality businesses across the country, we’re committed to keeping our readers across the rapidly changing the circumstances. If you’re venue has introduced any measures related to novel coronavirus – we want to hear from you.