New restrictions on restaurants and bars have been implemented in Denver to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Starting Tuesday, bars will be closed for eight weeks, and restaurants will be closed for in-person dining, staying open for takeout and drive-thru orders.
Mayor Michael Hancock made the announcement Monday during a press conference. Bars and restaurant will be closed until May 11.
The mayor said he’s aware the decision will have an impact on people’s day-to-day lives. But he characterized the closures as a necessary step to “reduce people’s exposure to this virus.” There are more than 130 positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.
“This was a very, very hard decision,” Hancock said. “I know who’s being impacted.”
Hancock said the city’s licensing inspectors will monitor restaurants and bars to make sure they’re following the rule. He’s also banned events with fifty or more people, with some exceptions, including grocery stores, pharmacies, food banks, and airport concessionaire. Cafeterias in restaurants inside facilities like medical facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are also exempt.
“If you need to go to the store, treat it like you’re preparing for a snowstorm, but we encourage you not to panic-buy,” Hancock said.
The decision comes days after Hancock ordered city-owned public venues to close. The city’s libraries and rec centers have also been shuttered.
The city has indefinitely suspended evictions and is planning on increasing social distancing in jails.
All of Denver’s DMV offices have been closed, following a state directive.