Mayor of Los Angeles orders residents to stay home in new virus curbs

A worker deposits a novel coronavirus test in a barrel in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – The mayor of Los Angeles ordered residents on Wednesday to stay in their homes and banned social gatherings as part of new measures to rein in a surge in coronavirus infections.

His order here limits nearly all social gatherings of those from more than a single household, mirroring a directive by county health officials last week, but exempts religious services and protests protected by the constitution.

“We must refrain from gathering with people from outside our household, wherever possible,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, adding that his emergency order was necessary for the protection of life and property.

“This most recent surge in COVID-19 cases presents us with an opportunity to work together, again, to reduce its spread and flatten the curve.”

He also directed city businesses requiring the presence of workers to close and set restrictions on travel, but specified some exceptions to both.

People may “lawfully” leave homes to engage in exempted activities, the directive said.

Los Angeles county has recorded 414,185 infections and a death toll of 7,740 in the pandemic, says LA Public Health here.

(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: here)

Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Clarence Fernandez

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