L.A. to allow reopening of certain businesses, public spaces on Friday

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced a plan to modify the city’s Safer-at-Home order by allowing certain businesses to reopen.

During the mayor’s daily press briefing, Garcetti stated that city trails and golf courses will open along with book stores, toy stores, music stores, sporting goods stores and clothing stores starting Friday, May 8th.

They will be operating with curbside pickup only; in-store shopping is still not allowed. Car dealerships will also be allowed to open.

The mayor says physical distancing will need to be practiced and everyone must wear a face mask.

“I would encourage to all businesses to only open safely. So while you can open as early as this Friday, you don’t have to yet until you feel it’s right”, Garcetti stated Wednesday evening.

Starting Saturday, March 9, trails in the city will be open as well as golf courses. However, the mayor said the popular hiking spot Runyon Canyon will remain closed. Face coverings are required at all city trails and golf courses.

“I know some people think ‘I’ll never see a person’ but you can round a corner and suddenly be face to face with somebody. We want to make sure that as people exercise that those parks and trails people are as safe as possible and not spreading this coronavirus,” Garcetti said.

Those who are 65 years or older and those who are considered ‘high risk’ are not permitted to go out to those places, the mayor said.

Garcetti said most businesses deemed nonessential during the pandemic have complied with the COVID-19 orders, but several have been referred to the Los Angeles Police Department to have them shut down.

Despite stay-at-home orders, a few flower shops in the city decided to stay open.

He also expressed that by modifying these guidelines it is not an excuse to have gatherings with others.

“We are not moving beyond COVID-19, we are learning to live with it,” Garcetti said. “Life is not going back to the way it was before.”

The mayor’s announcement comes after LA County decided to reopen businesses and trails throughout the county. Garcetti said within the next two to three weeks, officials from the county and neighboring cities will examine what other steps to reopen businesses and facilities can be taken.