L.A. County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions

Los Angeles County will ban most social gatherings starting Monday for at least three weeks. That's as coronavirus cases continue to climb, crossing the threshold set for additional measures.

The county will prohibit individuals from socializing with anyone outside their household. That’s on top of the overnight curfew imposed across most of the state last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Together, they’re among the most restrictive measures in effect nationwide.

The county’s public health order issued Friday will affect some 20 million people living in and around the nation’s second largest city.

The order extends to businesses as well. It lowers the maximum occupancy levels for “essential” retail businesses like groceries to 35% of capacity and non-essential businesses like indoor malls and nail salons to 20% of capacity.

Arnold and Kristy Ontes own a small business. “I understand why they’re saying that. I just don’t know if it’s proven that that’s gonna help.”

They're seeing many empty storefronts. “It’s very difficult to watch. Especially when you know people, like we do who own these businesses.”

But the order will allow for religious services and protests under constitutionally protected rights. That’s an apparent nod to Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision that struck down a New York state order that had restricted the size of religious gatherings. Beaches, trails and parks will also remain open.

Video Transcript

- Los Angeles County will ban most social gatherings starting Monday for at least three weeks. That's as coronavirus cases continue to climb crossing the threshold set for additional measures. The county will prohibit individuals from socializing with anyone outside their household. That's on top of the overnight curfew imposed across most of the state last week, by California Governor, Gavin Newsom. Together, they're among the most restrictive measures in effect nationwide. The county's public health order issued Friday will affect some 20 million people living in and around the nation's second largest city. The order extends to businesses as well. It lowers the maximum occupancy levels for essential retail businesses like groceries, to 35% of capacity, and nonessential businesses, like indoor malls and nail salons, to 20% of capacity. Arnold and Christie Ontez own a small business.

- I understand why they're saying that, I just don't know if it's proven that that's going to help.

- They've seen many empty storefronts.

- Very difficult to watch.

- Especially when you know people like we do, that own these businesses.

- But the order will allow for religious services and protests under constitutionally protected rights. That's an apparent nod to Wednesday's Supreme Court decision, that struck down a New York state order, that had restricted the size of religious gatherings. Beaches, trails, and parks, will also remain open.