Wall Street got a fresh look at the retail sector Friday morning, with April sales posting another record drop. Restaurants, bars and nongrocery retailers are just starting to reopen in parts of the country — with varying levels of safety measures in place. In Washington, the House is set to vote on a new $3 trillion relief bill, and sources tell CNBC the White House would likely support a second round of stimulus checks for Americans.
This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Global cases: More than 4.5 million
- Global deaths: At least 305,395
- US cases: More than 1.4 million
- US deaths: At least 86,744
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
7:30 pm: ‘All bets are off’ if another U.S.-China trade war sparks, Cramer says
7 pm: NFL to allow teams to begin re-opening facilities as soon as Tuesday
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters
The NFL on Friday issued a memo to teams letting them know they will be allowed to begin re-opening facilities as early as Tuesday.
Teams will be allowed to re-open facilities located in regions where state and local governments allow it. Teams will be limited to 75 people maximum at their facilities, and initially, coaches and most players will not be allowed to return. “This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safety and effectively, even in the current environment,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the memo. —Salvador Rodriguez
6:26 pm: J.C. Penney files for bankruptcy as pandemic deepens retailer woes
The long-struggling retail chain J.C. Penney has thrown in the towel and filed for bankruptcy, as the closure of nonessential businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic has compounded the company’s existing problems.
J.C.Penney’s sales have fallen for the past four years and its footprint has shriveled to lass then a quarter of its store base in 2001. The company is the latest major retailer to file for bankruptcy, following Neiman Marcus and Stage Stores. —Spencer Kimball, Lauren Hirsch
5:55 pm: Americans still have questions about their stimulus checks
Around 130 million Americans have received their stimulus checks, the IRS announced this week. However, many individuals still have questions about when they will receive their payment, CNBC’s Lorie Konish reports.
Delays in receiving a check could be related to the IRS not having your direct deposit bank account details or having incorrect information related to your account. It could also just be related to the process itself–it could take up to five months for all of the paper checks to be mailed. —Hannah Miller
5:45 pm: Stay-at-home orders expire in multiple states
Jackie Guarneri of Hudson enjoyed beers with friends at Jonesy’s Local Bar on the first day of the bar reopening in Hudson. Bars, restaurants and everything else is reopening in Wisconsin after the state Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order Thursday May 14, 2020 in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Jerry Holt | Star Tribune | Getty Images
Arizona, Louisiana and Maryland lifted their stay-at-home orders Friday, but still have certain social-distancing guidelines in place. Ohio reopened personal care services, while Utah will allow sports games to restart on Saturday with spectators who practice social-distancing. However, other parts of the country are taking smaller steps on their way to recovery. Washington, D.C., which has a stay-at-home order that includes the closure of nonessential businesses through June 8, announced that academic and educational retailers can apply for waivers that would allow to them to partially reopen with curbside pickup. For more on states’ reopening progress, click here.—Hannah Miller
5:36 pm: Investors await the impact of reopening on the economy
Investors are focusing on states’ reopening progress as they try to gauge whether lifting restrictions is helping to improve the economy. Until investors have a stronger idea of how the economy will fare once the country has reopened, stocks could face choppy trading, CNBC’s Patti Domm reports. Data arriving next week in the form of housing reports and earnings release could provide important insight. —Hannah Miller
5 pm: Real estate CEO says NYC will overcome crisis
4:35 pm: Mercedes-Benz plant to idle operations
A worker uses a tool on a Daimler AG Mercedes Benz M-Class vehicle at the company’s international assembly plant in Vance, Alabama.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Daimler said its Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, which was among the first U.S. factories to reopen last month following Covid-19 shutdowns, would once again idle beginning next week due to a supplier parts shortage.
“The management is monitoring the situation diligently and will decide on short notice to start operations as soon as possible,” the company said in an emailed statement.
The shutdown highlights one of the major issues facing automakers as they begin to reopen facilities. Their elaborate network of suppliers that produce many of the tens of thousands of parts that go into a vehicle might not be able to sustain production due to shortages or closures of their own. The Mercedes-Benz plant reopened April 27 after the company idled the operations due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 23.
The Detroit automakers as well as Toyota Motor have cited the need for their suppliers to be up and running ahead of them in an attempt to avoid a false restart that would lead to plants temporarily closing again.
General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler are expected to begin producing vehicles at their assembly plants starting Monday. Toyota started reopening production operations this week. —Michael Wayland
4:13 pm: Stocks rise slightly, but post big weekly losses
The market ended Friday’s volatile session up slightly with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 60 points and the S&P 500 up 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite eked out a 0.8% gain. Still, the major equity averages posted big weekly losses amid trade worries and weak economic data. The Dow and the S&P 500 both shed more than 2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.1% this week. –Yun Li
3:51 pm: More companies are filing for bankruptcy amid the pandemic
Companies across multiple industries have been pushed into bankruptcy because of the coronavirus. There were 560 commercial Chapter 11 filings in April, a 26% increase from last year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Big names in retail like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus have entered bankruptcy proceedings after having to close stores amid the pandemic. Energy companies like Whiting Petroleum cited low oil demand stemming from the outbreak as a factor in their bankruptcy decisions. Meanwhile, other companies like J.C. Penney and Hertz teeter on the verge of a potential filing as the virus continues to spread economic uncertainty. —Hannah Miller
3:36 pm: Food delivery fees capped temporarily in some cities to help struggling restaurants
Cities across the country are imposing limits on the fees that third-party delivery companies like DoorDash and Grubhub can charge restaurants for the duration of the pandemic.
Jersey City, Seattle and San Francisco capped delivery fees through emergency orders last month, and New York City could be the next to follow the trend.
Restaurants typically pay between 15% to 30% on orders placed with delivery providers, eating into their razor-thin profits.
Delivery companies say that limits on commission fees just passes along the cost of delivery to consumers, leading to reduced orders for the restaurants it was supposed to help and hurting their delivery drivers’ earnings. —Amelia Lucas
3:22 pm: Doctors struggle to access patients’ medical information, even in pandemic
Even in the midst of the pandemic, doctors say that there are still challenges in accessing their patients’ medical information. It takes a lot of time and energy, in particular, to move records from one vendor to another. Medical experts say this is causing unnecessary waste and creating delays in care.
The CEO of one of the largest vendors, Epic Systems, told CNBC at Healthy Returns that interoperability has been an ongoing challenge.
“We can’t send a fax to someone who doesn’t have a fax machine, so you can’t interoperate with someone who doesn’t interoperate,” Epic CEO Judy Faulkner said. —Christina Farr
3:02 pm: Phones are ‘ringing off the hook’ at southern Connecticut real estate offices, governor says
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told CNBC that the phones at real estate offices in the southern part of the state are “ringing off the hook,” as people from New York City consider a move due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People are realizing that telecommuting doesn’t mean you have to be in New York City five days a week,” the Democrat argued on “Squawk Box.” “It means that if you have to stay home for a period of time, having a nice little backyard is not a bad way to do it.” —Kevin Stankiewicz
2:54 pm: NYSE parent mum around FBI investigation of Senate stock sales
The corporate parent of the New York Stock Exchange won’t say whether it’s given information to the FBI about stock sales of its CEO, Jeff Sprecher, and his wife, Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Loeffler, a Georgia Republican, said Thursday that she has turned over documents and other information to the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee. The FBI is eyeing sales of stock valued at more than $1 million by her and Sprecher, along with accounts related to three other senators, in the weeks before the coronavirus outbreak shut down the United States.
Sprecher is CEO of The Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, which in addition to owning the Big Board operates other financial marketplaces. ICE declined to comment when asked if it has shared any documents with federal criminal investigators.
He and Loeffler deny any wrongdoing, saying their sales of stock before the coronavirus-sparked meltdown of markets were done by financial managers without any input from the couple. —Dan Mangan, Thomas Franck and Christina Wilkie
2:49 pm: Vice to lay off 155 people, as CEO calls out Big Tech
Vice Media will reportedly lay off about 155 people globally as the coronavirus heightens pressure on media outlets. CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in an employee memo announcing the layoffs that she placed some of the blame on Big Tech companies taking hold of digital advertising growth.
“We grew our digital business faster than anyone at a time when we believed that as more pies were baked, we’d keep getting a slice,” she wrote.
“But we aren’t seeing the return from the platforms benefiting and making money from our hard work. Now, after many years of this, the squeeze is becoming a chokehold. Platforms are not just taking a larger slice of the pie, but almost the whole pie… 36,000+ lost jobs in journalism is enough to take your breath away,” she added. —Jessica Bursztynsky
2:41 pm: U.S. air travel is on the rise but still down more than 90%
U.S. airports are busier this month compared with April, but air travel demand is still a fraction of the same point last year, as the coronavirus keeps many potential customers home. In the first 14 days of May, close to 2.5 million people passed through U.S. airports, according to the Transportation Security Administration, an increase of 63% from the same period in April. But even with that surge, the number of travelers is still down more than 92% from a year ago. Air travel generally perks up in the spring and summer — the peak period for vacation travel and when airlines generate the bulk of their revenue. —Leslie Josephs
2:35 pm: Four states will reopen restricted beach access for Memorial Day weekend
A person sunbathes while wearing a protective mask on May 13, 2020 in the Coney Island neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough in New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York state will reopen its beaches for Memorial Day weekend in coordination with New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, although reopened waterfronts will have to limit capacity to 50% and maintain social distancing guidelines.
Public pools will remain closed, he said. Cuomo said his rationale behind the decision was to work in conformity with surrounding states, such as New Jersey, which he said were planning to open beaches. He said he was concerned that there would be millions of New Yorkers crowding the Jersey Shore and other waterfronts.
Local jurisdictions had the right to keep their beaches closed if they felt it wasn’t safe, Cuomo said. Jane Meyer, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said in an emailed statement that the city’s beaches “will not open on Memorial Day.” Earlier on Friday, de Blasio said the city would ramp up patrol of the city’s beaches this weekend and added that beaches and pools in the city are “not in the cards right now.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn
2:15 pm: How the three types of Covid-19 tests work and why each is important
2 pm: Trump says U.S. will overcome crisis with or without a vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
President Donald Trump downplayed the need for a coronavirus vaccine, claiming at a White House press conference that the deadly virus will “go away” eventually.
“Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back,” Trump told reporters. “We are starting the process. In many cases, they don’t have vaccines and a virus or a flu comes and you fight through it.”
Experts and political leaders alike have said that the U.S. won’t be able to recover from the pandemic until a vaccine is widely available. There are more than 100 vaccines under development globally, according to the World Health Organization. Trump said Friday that 14 of those candidates are being looked at closely. Scientists warn they are still learning about the deadly virus, including how the body’s immune system responds once a person has been exposed to it. The answers may have large implications for vaccine development, including the time frame in which a vaccine can be deployed to the public. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
1:50 pm: WHO raises alert on mysterious inflammatory disease in children that may be linked to coronavirus
Woman with children wearing protective masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus COVID-19 on street in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 31, 2020.
Maxym Marusenko | NurPhoto via Getty Images
The World Health Organization called on all doctors and health leaders across the globe to “be on the alert” for cases of a rare inflammatory disease in children that may be linked to the coronavirus.
World health officials are hearing reports of a rise in cases of an inflammatory disease similar to Kawasaki disease in several countries, including the United States and Italy.
As researchers struggle to find more information about the mysterious illness, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, urged the need to understand the extent of the inflammatory syndrome’s association with Covid-19. —Jasmine Kim
1:40 pm: NYC begins to prepare for a hot summer with residents still under quarantine
Subway passengers wearing protective masks ride the F train in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Monday, April 20, 2020.
Holly Pickett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
All the activities New Yorkers love about summer, like barbecues, picnics, ball games and days at the beach or by the pool, are going to be different “for the foreseeable future,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his daily press briefing.
The city is preparing for the upcoming hot weather, which reached historic high temperatures last year, as it continues to follow strict social-distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Officials plan to spend $55 million to provide approximately 74,000 air conditioners to all low-income seniors, de Blasio said. He said that beaches and pools are “not in the cards right now” and the city is working toward providing “misting oases” in seating areas as an alternative. Sports venues, auditoriums and other large venues may also be turned into cooling centers, he said. “This is going to be a different summer than any summer we’ve experienced in the history of New York City,” de Blasio said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
1:23 pm: New York State residents get another 30-day break on medical, student loan debt
New York state residents who owe the state medical or student loan debt that is in collection have been given a 30-day extension on paying those debts.
Payments will be frozen until June 16 for those types of debts that have been referred to the attorney general’s office. After that, the office will assess whether an additional extension is needed.
The attorney general is also accepting applications to freeze other debts that are owed to the state and referred to its office for collections. The application can be found online.
The move comes as more than 2 million New York residents have applied for unemployment in the past two months. —Lorie Konish
1:15 pm: House Democrats push to pass $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill
House Democratic leaders forged ahead with trying to pass a $3 trillion coronavirus aid package that has no chance of becoming law.
The bill, which would top a $2 trillion March law as the biggest emergency spending plan in U.S. history, includes relief for state and local governments, another direct payment to Americans and hazard pay for essential workers. Despite some opposition from the Democratic Party’s left and right flanks, the pandemic response legislation cleared a procedural hurdle on Friday afternoon.
The House is expected to pass it by Friday night.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has criticized the measure as a Democratic wishlist. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto it – though the White House says he would be open to a different relief bill. —Jacob Pramuk
12:53 pm: San Francisco retailers given guidelines for reopening on Monday
A customer enters a CVS Health Corp. store with signs displaying “Sorry We Are Out Of Masks” in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg via Getty Images
New guidelines from the San Francisco Department of Public Health give insight into how the city’s partial reopening of retailers will look on Monday. San Francisco currently plans to allow nonessential retailers to open with curbside pickup and for manufacturing that supports retail to resume operations.
Retailers are not allowed to have more than 10 employees on site at one time and will need to have clear access to a sidewalk, street, parking lot or alley for pickup. Retail businesses located inside a shopping center cannot reopen unless they have an exterior door. The health department estimates that 90% of small business retailers can reopen under these conditions. Customers arriving for pickup will have to wear masks.
Manufacturing, warehousing and logistics that support retail businesses can resume as long as they have no more than 50 employees on site at one time. These businesses must also follow social distancing guidelines and implement a health and safety plan. —Hannah Miller
12:33 pm: Coronavirus could change TV advertising forever
The advertising industry could change dramatically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The TV Upfronts, an opportunity for broadcasters to win commitments from advertisers, were canceled this year as the coronavirus delays television production and causes uncertainty for marketers, CNBC’s Julia Boorstin reports. Advertisers may be turning toward investing their marketing dollars in digital platforms rather than long-term TV buys. —Hannah Miller
12:15 pm: Senate Democrats introduce a bill to boost nonprofit workforce
Four Senate Democrats introduced a bill that aims to give grants to struggling nonprofits that are losing their workforces because of the coronavirus.
The bill, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Brian Schatz, Ron Wyden and Sherrod Brown, will encourage nonprofits to apply for grants issued by the Treasury Department in order to rehire laid-off workers or hire newly unemployed people.
Across the country, nonprofits have been struggling to stay afloat as the pandemic persists. Shelter-in-place guidelines have forced nonprofits and institutions catering to vulnerable populations to suffer steep declines in volunteer service and revenue. —Yelena Dzhanova
11:47 am: Manhattan rental market takes a hard hit from pandemic
A Chelsea Tower rental apartments billboard.
Jeff Greenberg | Getty Images
New rentals in Manhattan plummeted by 71% last month, reflecting the serious blow the coronavirus has dealt to New York City’s rental market. Manhattan’s vacancy rate is now at its highest level in 14 years as people leave the city for more spacious suburbs, CNBC’s Robert Frank reports. In order to keep tenants, landlords are making concessions like waiving one month’s rent and reducing security deposits. —Hannah Miller
11:20 am: ‘It’s just become a survival game,’ fourth-generation cattle rancher says
With major meat plants still closed even after President Donald Trump’s executive order to keep them open and low cattle prices on top of that, many cattle ranchers in the U.S. are bleeding money and having to make hard decisions.
Fourth-generation cattle rancher Brett Kenzy says he is six weeks late on his loan payments after he was unable to sell his cattle on April 1.
For the week ending on May 9, meat production — including beef, veal, pork and lamb — was down 31% from the same time the previous year, according to the USDA.
″[T]he executive order had essentially no impact,” Derrell Peel, a livestock economist at Oklahoma State University tells CNBC Make It. The problem may be that many plants are struggling to find healthy workers as many fall sick and others are fearful of getting the virus, according to reports. If this continues, Kenzy believes “meat rationing will occur, definitely” during the summer months. —Jade Scipioni
11:15 am: Mexico to allow auto production to restart
Employees work on the assembly line of the Tiguan model, at the Volkswagen car plant in Puebla, central Mexico in 2018.
PEDRO PARDO | AFP | Getty Images
After days of uncertainty, Mexico will allow automakers and suppliers to resume production as early as next week as long as safety protocols are implemented to protect workers from Covid-19, according to updated guidelines released by the Mexican government.
Safety protocols, according to the guidelines, are expected to include adjustment of workspaces and production processes, as well as the establishment of entryways, sanitization and hygiene practices determined by the health ministry. All are similar to measures already being established in U.S. and Mexico factories by automakers.
Without Mexico production reopening, it was unclear whether U.S. production could successfully resume next week for General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler.
Despite President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, the U.S. auto industry heavily relies on Mexico for parts and vehicle production.
The guidelines have been changed at least three times this week, including Thursday when the government said production could not begin until June 1. —Michael Wayland
11:00 am: Abbott test missing infections may be due to ‘user error,’ Azar says
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said a coronavirus test used to screen White House staff could be providing inaccurate results due to “user error.” He added the White House still has “confidence” in the test even after a recent study from New York University found it may return a high percentage of false-negative results.
U.S. officials and corporations are pouring money into testing, hoping it will give people the confidence to return to work and reopen parts of the economy. The Abbott test is one of four on the U.S. market.
On Monday, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Abbott’s new coronavirus test that detects Covid-19 antibodies. The tests can indicate whether a person has had Covid-19 and was either asymptomatic or recovered. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
10:55 am: Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot being used for social-distancing patrol
Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot, Spot, is being used in a park in Singapore to help encourage social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Marc Raibert, the company’s founder, told CNBC the robot can operate itself but in Singapore, there is a human who is operating it. “The robot isn’t really enforcing in Singapore. It’s just giving people information and encouraging them,” he said. “There’s a human nearby who can do whatever enforcement they decide is appropriate.” —Kevin Stankiewicz
10:45 am: Fed’s Kaplan calls for a ‘dramatic national initiative for testing’
Despite the fact that tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs as the U.S. economy went into freefall amid the pandemic, the U.S. could still pull off a relatively quick recovery if it does just one thing right, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said, according to a Reuters report.
“If we made a dramatic national initiative for testing — and I mean dramatic …that could help create the V,” he said in an online interview with local public TV station KERA. Kaplan was referring to a “v-shaped recession,” which is characterized by a sharp decline in output followed quickly by a steep ramp back up. —Terri Cullen
10:28 am: Number of new US cases remains persistently steady
9:58 am: Microsoft and UnitedHealth offer free app to screen employees for coronavirus
UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft’s ProtectWell coronavirus symptom screener
UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft
UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft are launching a coronavirus screening app for U.S. employers, called ProtectWell, that provides daily symptom checker to help clear employees to go to work, or directs them to be tested if they are at risk for infection.
As companies grapple with new safety requirements to prevent Covid-19 infection when they bring employees back to the workplace, health care and tech companies are rolling new services to connect employers with reliable testing resources, advise them about establishing testing protocols for workers in different jobs, and manage the health privacy regulations surrounding the new safety measures.
UnitedHealth and Microsoft are providing their app free of charge, but for diagnostic companies and health systems providing reopening health services provides a new business opportunity to offset some of the losses caused by the moratorium on non-emergency care due to the pandemic.
The aim is to instill confidence in workers that they’re protected on the job, and through widespread testing help provide a better framework to contain the spread of the virus, so that consumers safe about going back out into their communities. —Bertha Coombs
9:43 am: Curve edges up in U.S. and Singapore
9:33 am: Fewer borrowers are asking for mortgage relief, but bailout improvements could change the pace
The pace of borrowers still piling into government and private lender mortgage relief programs is finally slowing. However, a change in the way borrowers are required to pay back that relief, could make the programs more enticing over the next few months.
Approximately 4.7 million homeowners were in so-called forbearance plans, as of May 12, up from a revised 4.5 million the week before, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and analytics company. The vast majority are in the government’s plan, which was set up as part of the CARES Act, the first coronavirus relief legislation. —Diana Olick
8:45 am: Norway could extend travel restrictions to Aug. 20
Norway is likely to extend restrictions on international travel until Aug. 20, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, according to Reuters. The country has advised against traveling across borders unless necessary and has asked any residents returning from abroad to quarantine for 10 days. Non-Norwegians are largely barred from entering the country, Reuters reports. —Sara Salinas
8:32 am: Denmark records zero Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours
A covid-19 infected patient, who has been hospitalised for a month, talks with medical staff at the lung medical unit at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen Denmark on May 7, 2020 amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
Olafur Steinar Gestsson | AFP | Getty Images
Denmark recorded zero deaths related to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours for the first time in more than two months, Reuters reported. The Scandinavian country confirmed 78 new cases to bring the national tally to 10,791. The death toll stands at 537, and the number of hospitalizations across the country fell by 10 to 137, according to Reuters. —Sara Salinas
8:30 am: Retail sales plunge 16.4% in April
April retail sales fell a record 16.4%, as the coronavirus pandemic largely kept brick-and-mortar shops closed. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected sales to plunge by 12.3%, compared with a previous record drop in March.
Nonessential businesses were shuttered in wide swaths across the country during the crisis. Some states are just starting to reopen shops and nongrocery retailers for business or for curbside pickup. —Sara Salinas
7:42 am: Former FDA chief on what experts know about unique symptoms in children
7:37 am: Drive-ins offer haven for moviegoers, as traditional theaters stay shuttered
Cars line up at the ticket booth to enter the Ocala Drive-in Theatre, one of the few Florida movie theaters permitted to operate during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Half of the parking spaces are roped off, providing 10-12 feet of social distance between each vehicle, and food orders are delivered to cars by servers wearing protective masks and gloves.
Paul Hennessy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
Once a dying piece of Americana, drive-ins have become a haven for moviegoers during the coronavirus pandemic. While traditional movie theaters have been closed due to social distancing restrictions, drive-ins have been able to show films. Although, it’s estimated that only 30 are open out of the 330 locations still operating.
Jim Kopp, owner of the Family Drive-in Theater in Stephens City, Virginia, said his theater keeps cars 10 feet apart and all of his ticketing and concession sales are now done online or through an app.
“It has changed the way we are doing business in that everything is online,” he said. “It is a contactless type of process.”
The drive-ins restrooms are also sanitized after each use, which has led to longer-than-average lines. —Sarah Whitten