Atlanta mayor closes bars, gyms, limits restaurants to take out

ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order Thursday ordering the shutdown of dine-in restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other entertainment venues throughout the city of Atlanta because people were not listening to the warnings and staying home on their own.

Health experts told her if drastic action isn’t taken now, we're a matter of days from being in the same situation as Seattle or New York.

“People have not been listening to the warnings,” Bottoms told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray via FaceTime. “The message to people right now is, take this seriously. Don’t be selfish.”

Starting at midnight, all restaurants will be required to do what Fox Brothers Barbecue is already doing: close the dining room and turn to carryout and takeout only.

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Fox Brothers told Gray it had to furlough 150 employees.

“They are our family. They are hurt. So, having to have the conversations we’ve had with them was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do,” said Justin Fox, from Fox Brothers.

At BTB Fitness, employees are checking out gym equipment to their members before locking the doors.

“Might as well get everything out to everybody to use. We’re all about providing our members with the best service possible. Right now, we can’t do that at the gym, but we're going to do that at their house,” said Nick Gecsy, with BTB Fitness.

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Bottoms said even tighter restrictions could be coming if people don't stop gathering in large groups.

“I don’t want us to get to the point where we have to shut down the BeltLine or close down our parks, but if people don’t heed the warning to not separate, to not gather in large groups, then it will leave us no other choice,” Bottoms said.

Bottoms told Gray that it is fine to get out of the house and take a walk or run in a city park but keep social distance.