LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — All bars, nightclubs, gyms and dine-in restaurants in the city of Los Angeles will be temporarily shut down, effective midnight until March 31, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement Sunday night, heeding warnings from health officials as Americans are urged to practice social distancing. Food banks, pharmacies and grocery stores can still remain open. The mayor is also urging places of worship to limit gatherings.
These are the emergency steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA, effective at midnight tonight. This isn’t easy & I don't make this decision lightly. We will do everything we can to help businesses & workers impacted during this time. pic.twitter.com/FAAOcRBDn7
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 16, 2020
“Our city is not shutting down,” Garcetti said. “We’re not planning to do so and we never will.”
Garcetti’s directive came hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom said that people who are chronically ill and 65 and older should remain at home during the outbreak.
The mayor also said the city will roll out a loan-assistance program for the 400 hardest-hit small businesses affected by closures due to coronavirus. Donated funds from the public will also support the businesses.
Garcetti said in his order that if a tenant is having financial difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic, landlords will not be permitted to have them evicted during the city’s local emergency period.
More briefings are expected with updates regarding the city’s response to the outbreak.