Washington, D.C., mayor announces business closures, restrictions

Kids perform skateboard tricks at Freedom Plaza, as Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a State of Emergency due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday ordered businesses including nightclubs, theaters and health clubs in the city to close for at least two weeks and placed severe new limits on restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The order prohibits table service at all bars and restaurants, although the businesses affected can still sell orders for pickup or delivery, Bowser said. The mayor’s order also bans gatherings of more than 50 people.

The order goes into effect at 10 p.m. on Monday night and remains in effect until at least March 31.

Businesses are subject to criminal and civil penalties if they violate the terms of the order.

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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