Anchorage mayor suspends restaurant dining, bar service and large gatherings

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz at a COVID-19 news conference on March 12. (Photo by Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has banned dine-in service for food and drink at restaurants, bars and breweries, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The order also closes gyms, bingo halls and theaters, and it bans gatherings of more than 50 people.

“These closures are consistent with CDC recommendations and with our strategy of doing what we can to reduce the possibility of transmitting COVID-19,” Berkowitz said in a news release. “As a friend told me, ‘It will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we underreacted or did too little.’”

Restaurants are not completely shut down. They can still provide to-go, pick-up, drive-through and delivery orders.

The ban does not apply to grocery stores.

The order goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m. until the end of March.

This is a developing story.

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