Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that Angelenos must wear masks any time they leave their home.
Anyone except for small children and people with disabilities will have to wear a facial covering when they are near others who don’t live in their home, he said. Previously, masks were only required in businesses and on public transportation.
“Bring your masks with you whenever you leave your home. That will help us get more freedoms,” he said.
Garcetti also announced that all retail locations in the city can now open for curbside and doorside pickup or delivery. Businesses are not mandated to open, the mayor added, and if they need more time, they should take it. When they do open, they must have completed a retail establishment physical distancing checklist.
Some manufacturing restrictions were lifted as well, allowing those which serve retailers to reopen as long as they adhere to safety protocols.
Restaurants and businesses can apply to get a permit from the city to open up parking spots in front of their stores to allow people to have convenient pick-ups. The signs will be supplied and installed free of charge within 3 days, the mayor said.
The mayor announced Wednesday that the city is starting a “slow streets” program over the weekend, temporarily closing neighborhood streets off from cars in order to allow people more space to walk, run and bike. Social distancing will still be required, Garcetti said, and the expanded space will allow people to move “without running into each other on the curbs.”
On Monday, Garcetti had said the city was considering closing some streets to give residents more space to exercise, especially in densely-populated areas. But the mayor had later said that county health officials advised that it could draw too many people to one area, and so they put the plan on hold.
Garcetti also expanded its emergency child care support program to support hospital workers on the frontlines, ensuring they don’t miss work. L.A.’s frontline workers can enroll children ages 6 to 14 in one of 18 recreation centers in the city, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for child care with food provided.
The mayor also clarified Wednesday that, “No, we won’t be shut down for 3 more months.”
His comment comes after L.A. County announced Tuesday during a Board of Supervisors meeting that its stay-at-home restrictions would likely last for three more months. Officials later issued clarifications saying that while stay-at-home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will gradually be relaxed.
“Our Safer at Home order will remain in place beyond May 15,” the mayor said. “Depending on public health conditions, we will continue to adjust the order to safely allow more businesses to operate and more people to get back to work. “
The briefing came as beaches in the county reopened Wednesday for active-use only, allowing people to walk, run, swim and surf. Lounging and sunbathing remain prohibited.
Within about two months, 1,659 people have died of the virus in L.A. County and 33,180 have tested positive. In the city of L.A. there were 545 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the total to 16,610 — a 3% increase since Tuesday. There were 47 new deaths in the city.
A total of 320,000 people have been tested in the county thus far, with a capacity to test 20,000 people per day.
The mayor was previously holding briefings every weekday and on Sundays, but is now holding them as needed.