Martial law is sweeping across America in the face of coronavirus, and Dallas on Monday limited residents’ First Amendment right to assembly, encouraging everyone to socially distance and stay home if possible.
Mayor Eric Johnson and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that all bars and restaurants in Dallas County are ordered to close by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Restaurants are allowed to offer takeout, drive-through or delivery only. Also closed are entertainment venues, theaters, gyms and fitness businesses.
The shutdown is good until March 20, but Johnson said he expects to have the date extended.
The orders “are among the most aggressive rules put forth among cities and counties in Texas for minimizing the spread of the virus,” KXAS reports.
The order also prohibits gatherings of 50 people or more, which can be enforced by the code enforcement officers or the police.
The Dallas City Council will consider shutting down restaurants to dine-in customers this week.
As of this afternoon, the governors of five states — California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington — have shut down bars and allowed restaurants to serve takeout customers only, as a way of limiting contact among the population and flattening the coronavirus curve.
City Council will consider an ordinance to mandate the closure of “non-essential businesses,” and they’re also considering shutting down childcare providers.
Council members also are expected to discuss whether it’s possible to speed up unemployment claims and how to provide childcare for workers who have to work, such as healthcare workers, restaurant and grocery workers and emergency first responders.
Here’s more from City Councilman Chad West.