Here is what you can and can’t do under L.A.’s new coronavirus Safer at Home order

On the first day of L.A.’s ‘Safer at Home’ order, Union Station was restricted to only ticketed passengers. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles city and county officials issued sweeping new rules Thursday to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But they were very different from each other.

The city of Los Angeles, with a population of 4 million:

  • Orders Los Angeles residents to remain in their homes, with exceptions;

  • Requires all Los Angeles businesses that require in-person attendance to cease operations, with exceptions; and

  • Bans all gatherings outside a home, with exceptions.

The county of Los Angeles, with a population of 10 million:

  • Does not order county residents to remain in their homes;

  • Only requires retail businesses that are considered nonessential to shut down; and

  • Bans gatherings of 10 or more people, with exceptions.

Both orders went into effect just before midnight Friday morning and last through April 19. Violations of either the city or county order can be enforced as a misdemeanor and punishable by fines and imprisonment.

The cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which are in L.A. County but have their own health departments, issued similar orders to the one issued by Los Angeles County.

Shortly after the new L.A. city and county rules were announced, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order instructing all 40 million California residents to stay at home as much as possible, with certain exceptions.

Stay at home order

City of Los Angeles: Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all persons living in the city to remain in their homes, with certain exceptions, such as:

  • To visit a healthcare or veterinary professional

  • To exercise, but remain 6 feet away from others, such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, using scooters, roller skates, skateboards, or travel in a vehicle with household members to go to a place to walk, hike, run or ride a bike.

  • Obtain medical supplies

  • Buy groceries

  • To care for a family member, a friend, or a pet in another household

  • Returning to a home outside Los Angeles

  • Traveling to a home outside Los Angeles

  • Comply with a court or law enforcement order

  • Legally mandated government purposes

  • All first responders, gang and crisis intervention workers, public health workers, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, law enforcement personnel, and others working for emergency services providers are exempt.

  • To do certain business operations and activities that are exempted, and listed below.

While doing these things, people should keep 6 feet from others, frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, clean high-touch surfaces and not shake hands.

Homeless people are exempt. People are allowed on Friday to go to work to gather belongings.

County of Los Angeles: There is no stay at home order enforceable as a misdemeanor and punishable as a fine or imprisonment.

Closure of businesses

City of Los Angeles: All businesses within the city of Los Angeles are ordered to cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace, including malls and shopping centers, with exceptions for certain essential businesses that have exterior doors. Businesses that can continue by telecommuting can continue to operate. Exceptions are listed below.

County of Los Angeles: Only retail stores considered not essential are ordered shut. This includes malls and shopping centers. Essential stores are listed below.

Playgrounds

Children’s playgrounds are ordered closed in both the city and county.

Gatherings

City of Los Angeles: All gatherings outside a home are banned, except for exempted activities.

County of Los Angeles: Gatherings of 10 or more people are banned. Just three days earlier, the county banned gatherings of 50 or more people.

For gatherings that are not banned, the county orders that:

  • People inside stay separated by at least six feet

  • People have access to handwashing facilities with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

  • A sign is posted instructing sick people to stay out

  • People are allowed to exercise, such as go on a hike and walk

  • People are allowed to go to essential businesses, such as grocery stores and to pick up takeout food at restaurants

  • The site should be cleaned and disinfected.

Child-care centers

For both the city and county, to the extent possible, child-care facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:

  • Child care must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day);

  • Children shall not change from one group to another;

  • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other;

  • Child-care providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

Personal grooming services

City of Los Angeles: Personal grooming services are ordered shut.

County of Los Angeles: Personal grooming services are allowed to remain open.

Restaurants

Previous orders issued by the city and county requires restaurants to offer food by takeout or delivery only.

Gyms, movie theaters, bars

Previous orders issued by the city and county required gyms, movie theaters and bars that don’t serve food to close.

Businesses exempted from the order to shut down

City of Los Angeles

  • All healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care providers, mental health providers, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries, or any related services, manufacturers and suppliers.

  • Grocery stores, water retailers, certified farmers markets, farm and produce stands, convenience stores, warehouse stores, food banks, convenience stores and stores that sell other household consumer products such as construction supplies, cleaning and personal care products, and stores that sell products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation of homes.

  • Food cultivation, such as farming, fishing and livestock.

  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies.

  • Newspapers, television, radio, magazine, podcast and other media services.

  • Gas service stations, auto supply, mobile auto repair operations, auto repair shops, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.

  • Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies.

  • Hardware and building supply stores, and nurseries.

  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation to properties and other essential activities discussed in this subsection.

  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.

  • Educational institutions — including public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities — for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.

  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.

  • Restaurants can be open only for pickup or delivery of food; dine-in eating is banned. Businesses must establish measures to keep patrons six feet away from each other.

  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.

  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support, services or supplies necessary to operate, provided that strict social distancing is maintained. This section includes, without limitation, utility companies.

  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses.

  • Airlines, taxis, ride-sharing services and other private transportation services providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this order.

  • Home-based care for disabled persons, seniors, adults or children.

  • Residential facilities and shelters for disabled persons, seniors, adults and children.

  • Professional services, such as legal, payroll or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.

  • Child-care facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, child-care facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:

  • Child care must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).

  • Children shall not change from one group to another.

  • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.

  • Child-care providers shall remain solely with one group of children

  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.

  • Military/defense contractors/federally funded research and development centers. Essential personnel may leave their residence to provide any service or perform any work deemed essential for national security, including, without limitation, defense, intelligence and aerospace development and manufacturing for the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and NASA and other federal government, and/or United States government departments and agencies. Essential personnel include prime, subprime and supplier contractor employees, at both the prime contract level and any supplier level at any tier, working on federal United States government contracts, such as contracts for national intelligence and national security requirements.

Essential retail businesses exempted from order to shut down

County of Los Angeles

  • Grocery stores, certified farmers markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, pet supply, water, fresh meats, fish and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning or personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences;

  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock and fishing;

  • Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

  • Newspapers, television, radio, magazine, podcast and other media services;

  • Gas stations, and auto-supply, auto-repair, car dealerships and related facilities;

  • Banks, credit unions and related financial institutions;

  • Hardware stores, nurseries; building supplies;

  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, vegetation services, tree maintenance, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation to properties and other essential businesses;

  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

  • Educational institutions (including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities) for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintaining to the greatest extent possible;

  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, laundry service providers, personal grooming services;

  • Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery, drive-thru or carryout;

  • Businesses that supply office or computer products needed by people who work from home;

  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;

  • Businesses that ship, truck, provide logistical support or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences, essential businesses, healthcare operations, essential infrastructure;

  • Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers offering transportation services necessary for activities of daily living and other purposes expressly authorized in this order;

  • Businesses that provide parts and service for essential infrastructure;

  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, disabled persons or children;

  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, disabled persons and children;

  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities, and the permitting, inspection, construction, transfer and recording of ownership, of housing and anything incidental thereto;

  • Military/defense contractors/federally funded research and development centers. For purposes of this order, essential personnel may leave their residence to provide any service or perform any work deemed essential for national security including, but not limited to defense, intelligence and aerospace development and manufacturing for the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and NASA and other federal government, and or United States government departments and agencies. Essential personnel include prime, subprime and supplier contractor employees, at both the prime contract level and any supplier levels at any tier, working on federal United States government contracts such as contracts rated under the Defense Priorities and Allocations System and contracts for national intelligence and national security requirements;

  • Child-care facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, child-care facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions: (1) Child care must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day); (2) Children shall not change from one group to another; (3) If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other; (4) Child-care providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.