In a 5:00 p.m. news conference on Wednesday, March 18, San Antonio Mayor Ron instituted new regulations to help prevent the spread of the cornavirus.
Beginning at midnight tonight, Nirenberg ordered the temporary closure of restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs, taverns, gyms or health studios, bowling alleys, bingo parlors and theaters. Grocery stores and restaurants with drive-throughs or carry out options will remain open.
The new guidelines will remain effect until Sunday, April 19.
“It is important for all of us to remain calm and follow the guidelines provided by public health professionals and health care providers,” the mayor said. “By working together and avoiding behavior that endangers others in the community over the next several weeks, we will get through this as quickly as possible.”
On March 14, Out In SA reported that LGBTQ bars on the Main Avenue Strip were working to limit occupancy. Under the new rules, these businesses must close. Last week, the Bonham Exchange announced it was closing temporarily.
The coronavirus pandemic has already had an effect on LGBTQ community organizations with many canceling or postponing events and meetings.
The following businesses are exempt from the mayor’s declaration providing they encourage social distancing, provide hand sanitizer and tissues, and increase cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
- San Antonio International Airport
- Public or private schools or child care facilities
- Places of worship
- Funeral homes
- Museums (so long as visitors are generally not within arm’s length of one another for extended periods)
- Spaces where 50 or more persons may be in transit or waiting for transit, such as bus stops
- Office spaces
- Residential buildings
- Grocery stores, gas stations, shopping malls, outdoor markets or other retail establishments
At the press conference, Nirenberg also asked citizens to stay home at night. “All unnecessary traveling, after hours, is highly discouraged. It makes our job harder,” he advised.