Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Sunday declared a public health emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic and announced radical changes for bars and restaurants in the city in an attempt to protect residents.
The emergency declaration will help the city’s marshal’s resources, Walsh said on Sunday at a press conference in the town hall. The city’s restaurant regulations come after a series of South Boston restaurants and bars decided to close on Sunday after people were seen packing them on Saturday.
Walsh has also strongly urged city residents to keep social distances, the practice of interacting as little as possible with others is less likely to spread the new coronavirus, which has already killed more than 60 people in the United States and thousands abroad .
“Social distancing is not a vague and ambitious strategy. It is backed by science,” said the mayor, adding later, “it will save lives.”
During a press conference on Sunday, Walsh launched an urgent appeal for residents to engage in social distancing during the coronavirus epidemic.
Following his Friday announcement that the Boston Public School buildings would be closed on Tuesday, Walsh said two school campuses will not open on Monday due to possible exposure in their communities: the Eliot and McKinley schools.
He acknowledged the difficulties families will face when school closes and said that among the ways it could help, the city will distribute food through places established in the city’s neighborhoods.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has announced that the city’s public schools will close Tuesday, March 17, for over a month, in an attempt to protect students, their families and staff during the coronavirus epidemic.
The changes for the city’s bars, restaurants and clubs in the future are vast, including:
- They will have to cut their capacity in half by removing tables and chairs to encourage social distancing.
- No line can form outside.
- Closing before 23:00, excluding restaurants offering drive-thru, take out or delivery.
- Any restaurant that has not been allowed to make food can now do so – “basically we are allowing every single establishment that serves food in the city of Boston to take away,” he said.
- The beer gardens will not be able to open for the season until the crisis has passed.
Violators will remain closed for 30 days, Walsh said.
He explained that he wants people to still be able to get food during the period of greatest social estrangement and does not want the city workers to suffer too much. He also thanked the 14 or more bars and restaurants that agreed to close after Saturday’s full rooms on Sunday.
On Sunday, Walsh gave advice on how best to achieve social distancing.
People arriving at U.S. airports from overseas on Saturday night reported that waiting times were online for the necessary medical visits during the coronavirus epidemic.