In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus, Dallas mayor Eric Johnson has issued an order requiring all Dallas restaurants to close their dining rooms.
Johnson made the announcement on Monday afternoon in a press conference, noting that restaurants can stay open for delivery or take-out service only. Bars, nightclubs, lounges, theatres, and music venues are also closed, effective at midnight. The decision is similar to other orders issued by mayors in cities like Los Angeles and Boston, all of which have required restaurants to close their dining rooms and shift to only offering takeout and delivery. Statewide orders requiring mandatory closures have also been issued in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, among other states, New Jersey, according to Eater.com.
Over the weekend, Eater Austin reported that the Texas Restaurant Association, which lobbies on behalf of the state’s restaurants, was urging officials not to shutter restaurants and instead allow them to offer takeout and delivery. The organization also argued that restaurants are already extensively regulated by local health departments, and their employees are uniquely positioned to feed people in safe ways.
At present, the order banning dining-in is in effect until further notice, and the local state of emergency is set to extend through April 29. On March 19, Texas governor Greg Abbott required all restaurants across the state to close their doors until April 3.