LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday laid out the city’s roadmap to reopening in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Friday, florists, toy stores, music stores, bookstores, clothing and sporting goods stores in the city of Los Angeles can begin offering curbside pickup, but Garcetti said that does not mean these stores must reopen.
“Do what you need to do to make sure you are safe, that you feel secure and that your people are protected as well as your customers,” the mayor said. “While you can open as early as this Friday, you don’t have to yet until you feel right.”
Garcetti also announced that starting Saturday, city trails parks and golf courses would be reopened, though Runyon Canyon would remain closed. He also said that face coverings would be required at all city trails and golf courses and social distancing must be observed.
“I know some people think I’ll never see a person, but you can round a corner and suddenly be face to face with someone,” he said. “We want to make sure that as people exercise in those parks and those trails, that people are still as safe as possible and not spreading this coronavirus.”
But, the mayor cautioned, people over the age of 65 or with underlying medical conditions should still avoid public places and gatherings with people from different households were still prohibited.
The announcement came just hours after Los Angeles County officials outlined a similar plan for retail shops and public spaces in the remainder of the county and is the city’s first stage in the process of reopening.
“We’re exiting Phase 1, focused on crisis management and saving lives,” Garcetti said. “So on Friday…it will mark the beginning of Phase 2 with a slow and a gradual loosening of some of the restrictions, while always ensuring there’s adequate safety measures that are in place.”
He said the reopening process would not be linear and that the city would occasionally have to take steps back before moving forward again, depending on a number of factors such as an increase in cases and deaths or a decrease in hospital capacity.
“There’ll be times we step back, and the businesses that might be allowed to open now might find themselves closed again, or access to public spaces will again be tightened up or restricted,” he said.
The city, in an effort to offer more transparency into its decision-making, created a new website that will track where the city is, where it has been and where it is headed.
Garcetti also announced that, starting Monday, all passengers on Los Angeles Department of Transportation buses will be required to wear face coverings. There is a push to require the same on all Metro Los Angeles transit, though it has yet to be approved by the board.
“We’ve seen tragic stories of transit operators, the bus drivers and rail operators who’ve become sick, and even some in other cities who have lost their life doing the most basic thing to make sure we, as a city, can continue to function,” he said.
The mayor also announced that, starting Monday, all travelers at Los Angeles International Airport will be required to wear face coverings while inside.