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St. Pete declares emergency, limits capacity at local restaurants

Alcohol won't be sold at bars past 9 p.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg City Mayor Rick Kriseman has declared a local emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, he took the unprecedented step of banning any events that consist of more than 50 people -- in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidelines.

That will apply to festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events and even private parties and weddings. Kriseman said events violating the guidelines could be broken up by law enforcement, as the city works hard to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Beginning at noon on Tuesday, the city will also be reducing capacity at local businesses by 50 percent. That will affect restaurants, cafes, bowling alleys, movie theaters and even the Cross-Bay Ferry.

The new "last call" for alcohol will be at 9 p.m. within St. Petersburg.

Public libraries, recreation centers and pools are being closed to the public until further notice. Outdoor playgrounds and exercise zones will be cleaned more frequently.

City council meetings have been suspended until April 9.

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