Gov. Ned Lamont has joined with the governors of New York and New Jersey in announcing that restaurants and bars that serve food in the tri-state area will be required to move to delivery or takeout service only. The measure, which took effect at 8 p.m. Monday, is intended to enforce social distancing, as the coronavirus crisis continues to intensify.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation Sunday that gatherings involving more than 50 people should be canceled or postponed.
Along with the restrictions on bars and restaurants, the three states are also closing movie theaters, gyms and other recreation centers until further notice.
“We must do everything we can as a community to slow the spread of this virus so that we don’t overwhelm our health care system and we protect the most vulnerable,” Lamont said in a statement. “Viruses do not know borders, which is why taking a regional approach on this issue is the best plan forward. A national approach to these measures would be the best option to slow and mitigate the spread of this virus.”
The Connecticut Restaurant Association issued a statement in response to the announcement.
“Weeks ago, Connecticut restaurants began doubling down on cleaning procedures in order to protect our customers and our employees,” said Executive Director Scott Dolch. “In the wake of Gov. Lamont’s announcement, local restaurant owners will continue to offer safe, clean service to customers via takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.”
He said the industry looks forward to returning to full service once the crisis has passed.
Monday evening, the state’s two federally recognized tribes both agreed to close their casinos after a day of negotiations with the governor’s office. The closure of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun -- the first in their history -- begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday and will last for two weeks.
“This is a humbling reflection on the ongoing public health crisis, and it is the right decision,” said Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler.
The three governors said they’ve had exploratory talks with other states on a larger regional coordination effort.
“We’ve already had conversations about reaching out to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, etc.,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Train service is being limited in Connecticut and neighboring states. CT Rail’s Hartford line and Amtrak trains are running on a reduced Saturday schedule every weekday until further notice. Amtrak is also running fewer Acela and Northeast Regional trains.
This story has been updated.