Angelenos may still visit parks—but must practice social distancing. | Getty Images
What are you allowed to do, and how are the city and county responding? Here’s a running list
Life in Los Angeles has sputtered to a halt as COVID-19 curbs the way Angelenos get around—and the places they visit. There’s no curfew and the region has not entirely shut down, but residents across the county have been told to venture outside only when necessary.
New closures are announced almost daily as the outbreak grows. Below, we’re tracking closures as they come in as the outbreak grows.
What are the basics?
Stay at home as much as possible. Only go outside for recreation and trips for food, medicine, and doctor’s appointments, or to help friends and family in-need. When outside of the home, practice social distancing, meaning keep six feet of separation between you and people not in your household.
So I can still go outside?
Yes, officials have encouraged Angelenos to exercise and get fresh air. But too many people are venturing outside with friends and non-family members. City and county leaders have said that if they continue to see people congregating outside in groups, they will close beaches and parks. Some agencies, including the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority—which oversees some popular parks and trails—have already begun to do that.
Social distancing dos and don’ts
- Do: Go for walks, hikes, and bike rides on trails and paths that have not closed—but don’t go in groups and keep your distance from others.
- Do not: Visit friends and family, unless it’s urgent.
- Do: Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others when you go out.
- Do not: Gather in groups.
- Do: Work from home.
How is this different from before?
There are more closures in place now than there were last week, and officials have toughened their “safer-at-home” orders, clamping down on gatherings outside of the home. Initially, the orders told residents to restrict gatherings to 10 people. Now, they’re saying: Do not gather at all.
Additionally, some of the orders to close nonessential businesses to the public only applied to retailers. Now, they apply to all nonessential businesses. Those businesses, however, are allowed to continue operating, as long as employees are working from home.
Where can I read the orders?
Los Angeles County and the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Pasadena have enacted “safer-at-home” health orders.
How long will these closures be in place?
Most local orders are set to expire April 19. Others are in place until “further notice.”
- LA County hiking trails: The county oversees nearly 60 trails, including Eaton Canyon Trail, Santa Susana Pass Trail, and several at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. All of those trails are closed, effective today. The county’s decision to close its trails does not impact those operated by other agencies, including the county’s 88 incorporated cities. The city of Los Angeles, for example, says its city park trails remain open.
- Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority parks, trails, and facilities, which include Franklin Canyon Park, King Gillette Ranch, Universal City Overlook, and dozens more locations. A full list is here.
- Beach parking lots operated by the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, as well as the county of Los Angeles, including Point Dume and Zuma in Malibu and those near the famous Venice Beach boardwalk.
- All nonessential businesses: They can keep running, as long as employees are working from home.
- Museums: You can’t visit them in-person, but many local institutions, including some of country’s most renowned, are putting resources, educational materials, and exhibits online.
- Restaurant dining rooms: Take-out and deliveries, however, are allowed—and even encouraged. Eater LA has compiled a running list of restaurants, by neighborhood, of restaurants with expanded delivery service.)
- County of Los Angeles beach volleyball courts
- Entrainment venues
- Bars and nightclubs
- Movie theaters
- Playgrounds, except those located within childcare centers.
- Golf courses
- Metro: But it’s running on reduced schedule due to a big drop in ridership.
- City of Los Angeles parks: But “group sports and recreation” are prohibited, and some of the buildings within the parks—including the Griffith Observatory—are closed until April 4.
- State beaches: While state beaches and trails are open, state campgrounds are closed.
- Ride-hailing companies: It’s important to limit car trips right now—even in you personal car—but companies such as Uber and Lyft are still running. If you ride, be sure to wipe down commonly touched surfaces, such as seatbelts and door handles.
- Grocery stores
- Meal delivery companies, such as GrubHub and Postmates.
- Outdoor farmers markets
- Doctor’s offices
- Food banks
- Laundromats and dry cleaners
- Hardware stores
- Gas stations
- The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles
Are there punishments for disobeying the order?
That might depend on where you live. Health orders are legally-binding, meaning violators can be cited for a misdemeanor.
But elected officials in the city of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles said they will take a “light touch” to enforcement. They are asking residents to self-comply for the health and safety of the entire community.
The city manager of Santa Monica said his first priority is also to educate the public. But he added: “It’s important for people to know that our local orders include the ability to fine individuals and businesses that do not abide voluntarily.”