Newstalk
Newstalk

14.06 16 Mar 2020


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New York and Los Angeles have closed bars, restaurants and entertainment venues in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio restaurants, bars and cafes to only sell food on a takeaway or delivery basis.

He also closed nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert venues.

“This is not a decision I make lightly,” he said. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city.

“They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.

“We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”

Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive order on Sunday to close bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least 31 March.

He said restaurants would be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services.

Meanwhile, different states have introduced different rules regarding gatherings of people – with some banning larger gatherings.

There have been over 3,700 confirmed cases on the virus in the US with 69 deaths.

It comes as countries around the word respond to the outbreak.

Spain has enforced a nationwide quarantine while the Austrian government has announced measures for restricting people’s movement around the country.

The Austrian province of Tyrol has followed Italy and Spain in ordering people to only leave their home for essential errands and work.

Neighbouring Slovenia has pledged to shut down all public transport and close all but food shops and pharmacies.

Estonia and Latvia confirmed they would close their borders to foreign nationals, except residents, from Tuesday.

Turkey has put aside quarantine beds for more than 10,000 people returning from pilgrimage to Islam's holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

Italy COVID-19 Coronavirus General view shows almost deserted piazza della Repubblica in Turin, 15-03-2020. Image: Nicolò Campo/Sipa USA

Italy meanwhile, the worst-hit European country with more than 21,000 infections and 1,400 deaths tightened up its controls further.

The transport ministry banned passengers from taking ferries to the island of Sardinia, and also banned overnight train trips - which many in the worst-affected north had been taking to reach homes and families in the south.

Nearby Morocco has suspended all international flights.

The virus has infected more than 169,000 people worldwide and killed over 6,500.

China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Spain are the countries with the most cases.

Additional reporting from IRN ...


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