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New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut shut down restaurants as pandemic spreads

March 16, 2020, 3:01 PM UTC

The tri-state area is locking things down as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, on a conference call Monday, announced they would be ordering the closing of restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, and casinos as of 8 p.m. ET.

“We have agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all our states. So don’t even think of going to another state,” Cuomo said.

Restaurants will still be allowed to deliver food, but no dining-in will be permitted.

The states also said that gatherings of more than 50 people are now prohibited, which is in line with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that was issued Sunday evening.

The news comes days after New York (and several other states) closed schools. Broadway has also largely gone dark.

The tri-state area is the first to order the closing of all restaurants, but it likely won’t be the last. As the CDC continues to update its guidance on social distancing, several states are looking at common gathering points and considering similar bans.

Sunday, during a presidential press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, indicated he would be in favor of a 14-day national shutdown—and suggested people avoid restaurants for now.

“Everything is on the table,” he said. “Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant. I just wouldn’t because I don’t want to be in a crowded place. … I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m going to be all of a sudden self-isolating for 14 days.”

More coronavirus coverage from Fortune:

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—A Q&A with WHO special envoy David Nabarro on COVID-19
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—After SXSW cancellation, Austin hotels and restaurants are bracing for a rough road
—While canceling mass gatherings, the U.K. is still aiming for deliberate “herd immunity”
—Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens will loan space for coronavirus test centers
—Let’s remember what we learned in WWII, as well as in 2008

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