Low-risk retail businesses in California will be allowed to reopen in a limited capacity as soon as Friday, but L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles County will wait to ramp up business operations.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California would begin moving into phase two of his four-part reopening plan, with select retail sectors free to reopen starting Friday, as long as their county officials approve.
“We’re not going back to normal,” said Newsom in a press briefing Tuesday. “It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications until we get to immunity and a vaccine.”
Under the new guidelines, businesses including bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, clothing stores, sporting goods retailers and others can reopen for pickup and curbside service only. Factories and logistics companies that supply those businesses can resume operations as well. Restaurants, offices and shopping malls will remain closed, but Newsom said he would soon allow county officials to decide whether to reopen those sectors locally.
Newsom urged Californians to continue practicing social distancing under the new guidelines. He said individual workers should keep wearing masks in their workplaces, and he would release more detailed requirements later this week.
Garcetti said he and L.A. County officials are discussing the safest and most efficient ways to loosen stay-at-home orders, but said it will take “longer than just a couple weeks” for the city to return to normal.
“Our timing on opening may vary from other parts of the state,” he said Monday in his daily coronavirus briefing. ‘This is a series of steps that we have to assess each time, and they will succeed more if we practice the prescriptions that are given to us.”
Garcetti said he doesn’t expect L.A. County to open retail businesses for curbside service by Friday. He said he hopes to begin rolling back retail restrictions by May 15, when the county’s safer at home order is written to expire.
As of Tuesday, Los Angeles County had 27,815 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,313 deaths, a significant proportion of the 56,705 confirmed cases and 2,309 deaths in the entire state of California.