Mayor announces new restrictions targeting coronavirus in San Diego

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city officials on Monday announced measures affecting social gatherings, restaurants, bars and other venues aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Faulconer’s order includes the mandatory closure of all bars and nightclubs and prohibits all restaurants and retail food facilities from serving food or allowing food consumption on the premises, allowing only for delivery, pickup or drive-through.

Residents are discouraged from participating in non-essential gatherings. City of San Diego public buildings, including recreation centers and libraries, are also closed to the public,

The city is narrowing its focus to essential services: police, fire rescue, water and sewage service and trash and recycling pickup. All other services will be scaled back.

“This is about the health and safety of San Diegans. I can’t stress that enough,” Faulconer said.

San Diego police officers went door-to-door starting around 8 p.m. Monday to deliver the news to bar and restaurant owners, including Philip Nestor with The Field, an Irish pub in the Gaslamp Quarter.

“It’s going to be a huge dint, especially with St. Patrick’s Day, our biggest day of the year,” Nestor said. “We’re going to close our kitchen at 9. We don’t want to push it.”

Nestor, who says a very small portion of his business is from take-out and delivery, wonders how long his business can survive the closures.

Police said they plan to issue violations but haven’t stated whether there would be fines or criminal charges. Some counties in Northern California have already pushed for more restrictions and called for lockdowns. Mayor Faulconer says that’s something that’s still on the table moving forward, and county officials say it could be inevitable nationwide.

“I would probably say that’s coming and very soon,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, public health officer with San Diego County Health and Human Services.

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