On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced some of the toughest lockdown procedures in the United States for the city of Los Angeles, ordering all Los Angeles residents to stay at home with a number of exceptions.
The new restrictions in the expanded ‘Targeted Safer at Home Order’ are largely built on top of previous orders by Mayor Garcetti, including requesting residents to stop all non-essential travel and the introduction of travel forms for all travelers coming into the city by air or rail.
- With exceptions, all Los Angeles residents must stay at home. Homeless individuals are not covered by the order.
- With exceptions, all businesses that require in-store attendance are to be closed.
- With exceptions, all public and private gatherings of more than one household are prohibited
- With exceptions, all travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit is prohibited
However, the order comes with many travel, business, and stay-at-home exceptions. Travel is allowed to and businesses are allowed to remain open if they are:
- All healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care and pet day care providers, mental and behavioral health providers and support groups, substance use providers and support groups, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries, blood and blood product donation organizations, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers.
- Grocery stores, water retailers, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse stores, and food banks.
- Farming, ranching, and fishing.
- Gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies.
- Newspapers, television news, radio, magazine, podcast and journalism in addition to music, film and television production.
- Gas service stations, auto/motorcycle part supply, mobile auto/motorcycle repair operations, auto/motorcycle repair shops, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.
- Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies, and pawn shops.
- Hardware and building supply stores, day labor centers, nurseries and horticulture wholesale distributors.
- Plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, day laborers, landscapers, gardeners, exterminators, property managers and leasing agents, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other essential activities.
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, boxes and packaging, and post office boxes.
- Education institutions – Schools and Colleges.
- Restaurants and retail food facilities that prepare and offer food to customers via delivery service, to be picked up, via drive thru service.
The list also goes on to name other businesses such as laundries, home care providers, shipping services, travel services such as taxis, rideshare, and commercial air travel, retirement homes, homeless shelters, animal shelters, childcare facilities, hotels, military contractors, houses of worship, retail factories, and retail stores that offer curbside pickup.
Los Angeles residents can also perform many everyday activities as long as they follow health and safety guidelines.
Mayor Garcetti urges residents to stay at home, violations punishable by fines, arrest
But, despite the long list of exceptions, Mayor Garcetti still said that it is still an order to remain at home.
“Subject only to the exceptions outlined in this Order, all persons living within the City of Los Angeles are hereby ordered to remain in their homes,” said the order.
In a speech made Wednesday night, Mayor Garcetti noted that now is the time to “cancel everything”.
“My message couldn’t be simpler,” said Garcetti on Wednesday. “It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it. Don’t meet up with others outside your household. Don’t host a gathering. Don’t attend a gathering. And following our targeted Safer at Home order, if you’re able to stay home, stay home.
“If cases continue on this pathway, if they continue to increase at the pace that we’ve seen, the county expects we will run out of hospital beds here in Los Angeles by Christmastime. Los Angeles is now close to a devastating tipping point.”
The new year brings hope –– for vaccines and for stopping this pandemic.
But here's the truth: we're in for a long, hard winter.
As the worst hits us, stay home as much as you can. Cancel any non-essential activities.
Hunker down, L.A. We'll get through this together. pic.twitter.com/6TkVsTfPzP
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 3, 2020
Unlike previous orders, Mayor Garcetti is making the order enforceable by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the City Attorney’s Office. Offences will be misdemeanors, and will be subject to fines, imprisonment, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power being allowed to shut off utilities for any violations, especially gatherings of more than one household.
“It just goes to show you how bad it really is in LA,” explained “Mike”, a Los Angeles City Hall worker, to the Globe on Thursday. “There’s a lot of exceptions here, so it’s not like people can’t go about their business day-to-day or anything like that. This is not martial law. You can still go around town.
“A lot of people freaked out yesterday because all they saw were the words “All persons living within the City of Los Angeles are hereby ordered to remain in their homes” and didn’t bother to continue reading on. No, if you look at the exceptions, not much has changed there.
“The big part that changed, and the real part we are worried about, are at-home gatherings of people from outside the household. When outside or visiting businesses, you know, people have masks, social distance, and use sanitizer. But at home, all of that is dropped. That’s the big worry. Things like Christmas parties and gatherings. That’s what we are really worried about. Notice how there were tons of exceptions for moving around and traveling but almost none for gatherings except for religious situations.
“We’re getting over 6,000 cases a day now and a growing positivity rate. Deaths are also spiraling upwards, especially among Latinos and African-Americans. This order is designed to stop, or at lest limit the growth, on cases and deaths. But we also haven’t seen the Thanksgiving surge yet, so it will be worse in the coming weeks.
“And again, that’s why we’re doing this now. Just, please don’t leave home unless you have to. It’s a lot to ask, but we’re trying to prevent a bigger disaster right now.
“I can say that coming up with these new orders were not easy, especially because of the holiday season coming in. But we had to do this now to stop the spread.”
The new LA orders are now currently in effect, with no end date given.