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Coronavirus prompts Dallas and Houston to close bars and clubs, make restaurants takeout only

Dallas follows some of the country's largest cities in shutting down bars and restaurants for dine-in service. || Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

Bars and restaurants are being shut down for dine-in service in Dallas and Houston for at least the next week amid the coronavirus pandemic, the cities’ mayors announced Monday afternoon.

In Houston, the new rules go into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will last for at least 15 days. The Dallas shut down starts before midnight Monday and will last at least a week.

The move comes after a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday to cease all gatherings of 50 or more people in the coming eight weeks.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson ordered the closing of all Dallas bars, lounges, taverns, nightclubs, gyms and health clubs, theaters, music venues, and entertainment establishments such as arcades and billiard halls.

Restaurants in both Dallas and Harris County for now may remain open for drive-through, takeout and delivery, but dine-in service will be prohibited.

The Dallas emergency regulations, which also included prohibiting community gatherings of more than 50 people, will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Johnson said.

Asked if Dallas is considering a curfew, Johnson said city officials are not actively looking at implementing one right now, but "can’t say that any tool is not on the table."

On Monday morning, the nation’s largest cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — announced similar measures.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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