LA County’s new coronavirus restrictions are now in effect. Here’s what you need to know

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Regal movie theater closed due to COVID-19. Photo by edenpictures/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

New coronavirus restrictions are now in effect in LA County for at least three weeks, until December 20. Officials worry that the healthcare system is being overwhelmed by the 70% increase in people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the last two weeks. 

For starters, you’re being asked to stay home as much as possible — and yes, to cut out the get-togethers and outdoor picnics with friends. 

Here’s what else you need to know about what the new “Stay-at-Home” order:

No Gatherings: The new order prohibits all public and private gatherings with individuals who are not in your household. The exceptions include religious services and public protests, which have constitutional protections. 

Retail is limited: The order reduces the maximum occupancy of essential retail businesses like supermarkets and pharmacies to 35% capacity. Non-essential retail businesses are limited to 20% capacity.

Outdoor venues: Museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and businesses like fitness centers must operate outside only, at no more than 50 percent of capacity. Card rooms and children’s playgrounds are closed.

Recreation is allowed: Face coverings are now required for all outdoor recreational activities, except swimming. Beaches, parks, and hiking trails are open, but masks are required and you are not supposed to gather at these places with people outside of your household.  Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household.

Takeout only: Per an earlier order, restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries are only open for take-away or delivery. (Except in Pasadena, where outdoor dining remains allowed, because Pasadena has its own health department.)

Schools okay: Schools and day camps that are already operating in-person can remain open. However, facilities that have an outbreak — defined as three or more cases over 14 days — need to close for two weeks.

These new rules are looser than LA’s restrictions this Spring, but a lot of people are used to their new quarantine routine after eight months of pandemic.