Heading to the Store in LA? You'll Soon Need a Mask

Facial coverings will be required at many essential businesses starting Friday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2020 1:20 AM CDT
LA Orders Customers, Workers to Wear Masks
This Wednesday, April 1, 2020 file photo from a live stream video provided by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti shows Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti wearing a protective face mask during his daily coronavirus news conference in Los Angeles.   (Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti via AP, File)

Visiting or working at an essential business in Los Angeles? You'll probably need to be wearing a face covering. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the order Tuesday night, explaining, "Cover up, save a life—it’s that simple." Starting Friday, residents must wear a mask, bandanna, or something else that covers their noses and mouths when they're in a number of essential businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, laundromats, restaurants, hotels, taxis, and rideshare vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reports. The idea is to protect workers at those businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. No one is required to wear a face covering while exercising outside, where it is easier to maintain social distancing guidelines of at least six feet.

Also Friday, workers at most essential businesses must also have their noses and mouths covered; Garcetti said business owners need to either provide facial coverings or reimburse employees for them. Garcetti is, at least so far, not picturing a world in which police patrol supermarkets and cite anyone who is maskless: "This is about self-enforcement mostly," he says. "Our idea is not to be arresting and fining people for the face coverings." But, he added, per LAist, "If you're not covering your face by Friday morning, an essential business can refuse you service." Other cities and counties around California have introduced similar orders. Also in Los Angeles, a "massive and unprecedented" effort is underway to move the city's homeless population into hotels, the AP reports. (More on that here.)

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