Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton has signed an order to prohibit dine-in service at restaurants and to close bars and other popular places where groups of people gather.
The order, which goes into effect Friday, limits restaurants, coffee shops and “other places where food is offered to the public” to take-out service.
Restaurants that have licenses to sell alcohol can sell beer and wine in unopened containers with take-out orders. This does not apply to orders for delivery.
Eateries in the city's designated Restaurant Districts where open containers are allowed can sell these beverages, but take-out customers must consume them within the district.
The city said the order suspends its enforcement of local ordinances and state laws that prohibit certain alcoholic beverages being sold with take-out purchases.
“The city has no control over state enforcement of state laws,” the city said in a statement.
The order also bans public gatherings and events that include 10 or more people in the city limits and closes bars, night clubs, skating rinks, gyms, trampoline parks and private social clubs.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Bennett said the order does not apply to grocery stores or day care facilities. You can view the order by visiting the city’s website.
Norton said the order will be in effect for two weeks. As the two-week period draws to a close, he said he will evaluate the situation to determine if it’s necessary to extend the declaration.
The decision to impose the declaration was not taken lightly, Norton said.
“We feel that this is the best way to protect our citizens at this time in this constantly evolving environment we are in,” he said.
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