NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Restaurants and other businesses that serve alcohol in Nashville and Davidson County will be required to close by 10 p.m. daily beginning Friday, according to Mayor John Cooper.
This is the city’s latest effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Davidson County. Crowds are still flocking to downtown Nashville, some wearing the mandated facial coverings while others are not. Bars in Davidson County have been closed since July 3.
On Tuesday, Mayor John Cooper announced he directed the Metro Public Health Department to draft a new order requiring restaurants and businesses that sell alcohol to close by 10 p.m. in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially downtown.
Councilman Freddie O’Connell said the Metro Council meets with the Metro coronavirus task force every Thursday. He has heard concerns from several of his constituents about downtown becoming a hotspot while others are pushing back wanting life to go back to normal.
But, O’Connell thinks this is a time that city leaders need to act aggressively to deal with the public health crisis.
“This is about adapting, this is about some of it is a hard sacrifice that we are going to make. I mean, it’s hard sacrifices that I know our family has made as schools closed in the spring. It’s doing things differently and it’s about making sure we protect other people, right? It’s not ‘hey gosh, I’m so tired of being cooped up at home I’m gonna go out with my friends and part.’ It’s right now, the attitude has to be ‘you know what? 2020 is going to be a really hard year,'” said O’Connell.
The new order will not affect drive-thru and take out services.
Signs warning people about the mask mandate are still on Broadway but should Metro police be doing more to enforce it?
Metro police gave more than 6,700 verbal warnings during the first week of enforcing the mask mandate, but no citations. Mayor Cooper defended police, saying education about the order is important.
O’Connell says if the city creates a mandate, it needs to be prepared to enforce it in order to get the economy back open.
“I also think maybe we weren’t as prepared as we needed to be…now it’s okay right, ‘like we did flatten the curve and so now let’s just go back out like everything is normal?’ and that was never the case,” explained O’Connell.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.