(UPDATED 11:29 a.m.) All bars, movie theaters, gyms, casinos and race tracks have been ordered to close in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey effective at 8 p.m. today until further notice, the governors of the three states announced in a telephone briefing with the media this morning.

Restaurants and bars can offer takeout and delivery service after the rule takes effect. Dine-in will not be permitted.

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Essential businesses — such as supermarkets, pharmacies and gasoline stations — can continue to operate, they said.

Public gatherings are limited to 50 people. 

Non-essential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. is “strongly discouraged,” the governors said.

“We have all agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “So if you can’t do a party in New York City, you can’t do a party in New Jersey, you can’t do a party in Connecticut.”

“These are not normal times,” he added.

In a press conference following the phone call, he called on the federal government to impose similar restrictions across the entire country.

Cuomo clarified that the following businesses will be required to close after 8 p.m. tonight:

  • Movie theaters
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • Theaters
  • Bars and restaurants for dine-in. Take-out and delivery will be the only services allowed.

All other non-essential businesses are strongly advised to close after tonight as well.

Local governments should reduce their in-office workforce by a minimum of 50%, he said.

The State Liquor Authority will issue temporary rules allowing takeout of “any goods served on premises,” Cuomo said. The rule would be announced by 5 p.m. today.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.