Nashville orders restaurants to close earlier to curb virus
NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville is barring restaurants from staying open late starting Friday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor John Cooper said Tuesday.
In a virtual news conference, Cooper said an order will require restaurants, restaurants that have turned into bars during the pandemic and other businesses that serve alcohol to close by 10 p.m. Takeout options can stay open later, said Alex Jahangir, head of Nashville’s coronavirus task force.
Cooper pointed to videos that circulated over the weekend of crowds outside restaurants and other businesses in Nashville, with most people not wearing masks. Earlier this month, Nashville ordered bars to close again due to the growth in new coronavirus cases, but some bars also qualified to stay open as restaurants.
“This order is intended to enable our businesses to operate responsibly, while also discouraging those who would come here and shirk their personal and societal responsibilities during this public health crisis,” Cooper said.
Tennessee reported more than 2,100 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the state on Tuesday. That was down from a high of 3,314 last Monday, although the trend continues to swing upward.
Nashville reported 240 new confirmed cases on Tuesday.