LA mayor announces restrictions on restaurants, bars, other businesses to slow virus spread

LOS ANGELES Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday night, March 15 issued an emergency order in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), placing temporary restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other establishments in the city.

The order, which took effect at midnight, includes the temporary closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters and entertainment venues, bowling alleys and arcades, and gyms and fitness centers.

Restaurants, bars and retail food facilities may not serve food for consumption on their premises but may continue to offer food for delivery, takeout or drive-thru.

The mayor also strongly urged houses of worship to limit large gatherings on their premises and observe social distancing practices in their services.

“We are all first-responders in this crisis,” he said in a statement. “I don’t take these steps lightly, but they are absolutely necessary — because our decisions today have the power to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

The restrictions will remain in place through noon on March 31, 2020. They are subject to extension.

The following establishments within the City of Los Angeles will be temporarily closed to the public:

  • Bars and nightclubs that do not serve food;
  • Movie theaters and entertainment venues;
  • Bowling alleys and arcades; and
  • Gyms and fitness centers.

The following restrictions will also apply:

  • All restaurants will be prohibited from serving food to dine-in customers, but may continue to prepare and offer food via delivery service or take-out;
  • Houses of worship are urged to limit large gatherings on their premises and to explore and implement ways to practice their respective faiths while observing social distancing practices.

The following establishments will continue to operate:

  • Grocery stores will continue to operate and there is no shortage of food or interruption in our food supply;
  • Cafeterias within hospitals, nursing homes, and similar facilities will continue operations.

The mayor also ordered a moratorium on evictions of residential tenants during this local emergency period if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This emergency order builds on Garcetti’s previous directive, which strengthened the local response by imposing limits on public gatherings in city facilities, and follows a declaration of local emergency issued March 4.

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