Los Angeles County will tighten restrictions for businesses from Friday amid a surge of coronavirus cases, the county government announced Tuesday.
Under the new restrictions, non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors will be limited to a maximum capacity of 25%. Outdoor businesses, including restaurants and bars, will be limited to 50% capacity.
Restaurants, bars, and all non-essential retail businesses must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., while all outdoor gatherings must be limited to three households with no more than 15 people.
“These safeguards and restrictions protect the public health and safety of our residents, and their ability to be served in our hospitals,” the county government said in a statement.
Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County have more than doubled since the beginning of November, and hospitalizations have also increased, the statement said. The county is currently reporting a five-day average of 2,884 daily cases and 1,126 hospitalized patients, according to the statement.
More restrictions could come: The county plans on prohibiting all outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants and bars if the five-day average of daily cases reaches 4,000 or when there are more than 1,750 daily hospitalizations.
Should the five-day average of cases surge past 4,500, or daily hospitalizations past 2,000, a Safer at Home Order will be imposed for three weeks, and a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be implemented.
“Los Angeles County is at a critical moment to save lives and curb the spread of Covid-19,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in the release. “I urge our residents, businesses and community leaders to heed this warning and follow these heightened safeguards so that additional restrictions do not need to be imposed.”