SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah Mayor Van Johnson has issued an emergency declaration to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the city.

“All bars and nightclubs that do not serve foods will be closed, all gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades will be closed,” Johnson said.

This as coronavirus continues to spread throughout Georgia inching closer to the hostess city. The mayor’s plan also orders restaurants to reduce their dine in service by 50 percent.

Some businesses that will have to close may be sitting on the edge of their seats trying to figure out what to do next, but Marketing Director for Elan Savannah Jay Trikha said he sticks by the mayors decision.

“It is a hard situation, it’s a tough situation, it’s unprecedented, it’s never happened before but we understand where the mayor came from and everyone’s safety is our first priority especially our customers and our staff,” Trikha said.

The local state of emergency in the city of Savannah will take effect Saturday March 21 at 8 p.m. through April 5. During that time we will no longer see visitors and residents lingering around City Market and bars along River Street.

“I’d rather our employees be safe than be working for $30 a night when there’s no one coming into the bars,” Trikha said.

For Elan Savannah, they’re covered by insurance so they will continue to pay their employees but some businesses might not be so lucky. Trikha urges all in a tough situation to apply for small business loans during this time of uncertainty.

“Financially I’m not sure if i’ll be OK but at the same time the safety of my staff and the customers coming in is more important than my financial stability. I can figure out ways to make money on the internet,” Trikha said.