National City enforces bar and restaurant closures

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — National City councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday to ratify a local emergency proclamation that will allow them to act quickly and exercise emergency powers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

In an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, city facilities will shut down beginning March 18. That includes the library, community center, recreation center and lobbies at the police and fire departments. Restrooms in all city parks are closed and playground equipment will be cleaned daily, according to city officials.

City officials are also enforcing state and county guidelines regarding bars and restaurants. Effective through March 31, all bars that serve alcohol and no food in the county must close. Restaurants or businesses that serve food must close on-site dining. Drive-throughs and takeout is still allowed, while still maintaining social distancing or keeping people six feet apart.

Fire officials with National City Fire and Rescue Department went door to door Tuesday, reminding bars and restaurants about the new rules.

Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Drew said many business are already following the new guidelines, while others were quick to comply.

“They’re sad that they have to close, but willing to comply,” Drew said.

Many customers said they still plan to support their favorite eateries through delivery and takeout.

“You have to understand that people need to make money,” one customer at Cabo Wabo Bar & Grill told FOX 5.

Fire officials on Tuesday asked patrons to leave but did not issue citations. However, moving forward, the National City Police Department said they are prepared to issue misdemeanor citations to bars and restaurants that don’t comply.

“We’re trying to keep those gatherings down to a minimum,” Drew said. “If we don’t need to gather, we’re trying to stop those altogether.”

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