Here is what can now reopen in L.A. County, and here is what is still closed
Los Angeles County has taken another step in reopening its economy.
On Tuesday, officials modified the county’s health order to allow in-store shopping at low-risk retail stores as well as the reopening of drive-in movies and other recreational activities with restrictions.
The county, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in California with more than 2,100 deaths, is still moving slower than other counties in reopening, hoping to avoid a surge in illnesses. But the new easing of stay-at-home rules represent a major shift.
At Eaton Canyon, a popular Pasadena hiking area, so many people crowded the trail Saturday morning — many without masks and jammed close together — that rangers shut it down for the rest of the month.
What’s open now?
These are the areas covered by the modified order issued Tuesday.
- Faith-based organizations can resume services, with the number of congregants limited to 25% of the building’s capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
- All retail establishments, including those in indoor and outdoor shopping centers, can open for business at 50% capacity; flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters can also resume operations.
- Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multiunit residence or part of a homeowners association can open.
- In-person protests are permitted as long as attendance is limited to 25% of the area’s maximum occupancy or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
L.A. County supervisors say the county has made enough progress in dealing with the coronavirus that they will ask the state to allow more establishments to begin reopening.
What restrictions remain?
These businesses are still covered by the county’s stay-at-home order:
- Bars and nightclubs
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Movie theaters
- Live venues, sports stadiums, arenas, festival spaces, etc.
- Bowling alleys
- Public piers
- Public pools
- Personal grooming businesses such as hair and nail salons
- Indoor museums
- Community centers
Gatherings of people not from the same household are still prohibited, except for faith-based services and in-person protests.
People 65 or older and all people with underlying health conditions should remain in their residences as much as possible, health experts say. People in these categories should leave their residences only to seek medical care, exercise or obtain food or other necessities. Telecommuting should continue as much as possible.
Physical distancing requirements, the wearing of face coverings and other safety protocols must still be observed, officials said.
“Aligning Los Angeles County’s health orders with that of the state is going to provide immediate relief to our communities,” Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “This important step will enable our residents and businesses to have greater clarity and consistency as we continue to take positive steps toward reopening Los Angeles County.”
L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis acknowledged the importance of reopening certain activities but noted that it “does not mean going back to business as usual.”
“As long as community members follow safety rules, we can continue to make more progress,” she said. “Our houses of worship can once again welcome people inside. Shopping malls and communal flea markets can get back to business. I am so proud of all the progress we’ve made to protect our loved ones from COVID-19. Given our resilience and collective sacrifice, we are ready to take the next step to reopen our economy.”
Los Angeles County officials said Tuesday they will ask the state to allow a speedier reopening of restaurants and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak.
If approved, the county could allow some in-person dining, Barger said. Restaurant owners hope to be allowed to seat more patrons outside because many say they cannot survive with overly stringent rules limiting capacity, Barger said.
Additionally, if the variance plan is approved, barbershops and hair salons would be allowed to reopen in some capacity, as outlined by state health guidelines, but not nail salons.
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