March 18, 2020 / 7:37 PM / in 16 days

FACTBOX-Restrictions on public life in major U.S. cities to curb coronavirus spread

March 18 (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic has transformed life across the United States, leading to unprecedented restrictions on public gatherings as health officials try to slow the contagion.

Here are some of the new rules curbing public life imposed in five major American cities.

* NEW YORK CITY, population 8.4 million

- All public schools are closed until at least April 20, although workers are handing out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches outside school buildings. City education officials are setting up remote learning so students can be taught via the internet in their homes.

- All gatherings of 50 or more people are banned.

- All bars and restaurants are restricted to take-out or delivery only.

- Officials have advised New Yorkers to stay home and telecommute for work where possible. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has contemplated more restrictive rules ordering people inside but for necessary trips.

* LOS ANGELES, population 4 million

- All public schools are closed until at least the end of March. City officials are providing grab-and-go meals for students and their families to pick up at centers around the city.

- Most public gatherings of 50 or more people are banned.

- Movie theaters, concert venues, bowling alleys, social clubs, gyms and other gathering places are closed.

- Restaurants and bars can sell take-out or delivery food only. Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks can remain open.

* CHICAGO, population 2.7 million

- All public schools are closed until at least March 31, although workers are handing out free grab-and-go meals outside school buildings.

- All public gatherings of 50 or more people are banned.

- Restaurants and bars can sell take-out or delivery food only.

* SAN FRANCISCO, population 883,000

- All residents required to stay home except for essential needs under a “shelter in place” order issued on Monday, and risk a fine or imprisonment for violations.

- Essential workers, including doctors, police, jail guards and firefighters, are allowed to report to work.

- Groceries, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, gas stations and laundromats can remain open, and residents can make necessary trips outside to those businesses or for exercise, so long as they stay 6 feet away from others.

- Bars are closed, and restaurants are delivery or take-out only.

* SEATTLE, population 745,000

- All schools are closed.

- Public gatherings of 50 or more people are banned.

- Bars, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas and other recreational establishments have been ordered to close until at least the end of March.

- Other retail outlets, including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies, can remain open.

- Restaurants are limited to selling delivery or take-out food only.

Sources: City governments of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle; U.S. Census Bureau.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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