What you need to know about COVID restrictions in California

Nov 19, 2020 Travel News

What you need to know about COVID restrictions in California

Hello.

In California, we have spent the last few days learning new details about how some of our leaders flouted the same guidelines they promoted to help keep everyone safe.

That French Laundry dinner Governor Gavin Newsom apologized for attending? Photos obtained by Fox 11 show it wasn’t as outdoors as you might have thought. As CalMatters reported, two leaders of high-profile physician associations were also among the guests.

Oh and journalists are always trying to understand which of your elected officials decided to travel to Hawaii for a lavish political summit, just days after California announced travel warnings outside many of them will not have be there.

Nonetheless, we are now exactly one week away from Thanksgiving – a holiday that experts have warned is almost personalized to facilitate the spread of the coronavirus.

State and local governments have both announced new restrictions or reinstated previous ones aimed at containing the push.

Here’s what you need to know about the restrictions now:

Over 94% of the state’s population lives in 41 counties currently under state purple level of restrictions. What does it mean?

This means that many businesses that have been able to operate indoors, such as restaurants, cinemas, and museums, have to move everything outside or close.

Hair salons and barber shops can be opened indoors with modifications. Shopping malls, stores and exchange meetings can be opened at 25% capacity.

Indoor gatherings of any kind are prohibited, and outdoor gatherings may only include persons from a maximum of three households.

[See a grid showing what’s open and what’s closed under each tier on the California Department of Public Health’s website.| Look up where your county falls here.]

That said, individual counties may impose more stringent restrictions than state mandates.

For example, officials in Los Angeles County – which has struggled for months with a stubbornly high number of cases – said the virus was spreading at dangerous and unsustainable levels.

Therefore, effective Friday, the county requires restaurants to operate at half capacity, even outdoors. Additionally, personal care companies cannot accept walk-in visits and should only provide services that do not require clients to remove their masks.

When it comes to outdoor gatherings, which state guidelines cap at just three households, Los Angeles County caps at 15 people.

And if things continue to get worse, officials say they will re-impose a stay-at-home order similar to the one the county implemented in March, which would require people to stay home except for themselves. make it into essential businesses. (The threshold would be a five-day average of over 4,000 new cases per day, or if there are more than 1,750 hospitalizations per day.)

San Francisco officials have also suspended plans to reopen without a state warrant.

[Track coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations by California county.]

So, is there a curfew?

Although earlier this week Mr Newsom said he and other state officials were looking to determine whether some sort of statewide curfew could be effective, there is no curfew at this time.

In Los Angeles, however, the county requires all non-essential restaurants, bars, wineries, and stores to close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Last week, New York officials announced a similar measure, forcing bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m.

When should we wear masks?

The state recently updated its mask mandate to make it slightly more expansive. But for the most part, if you’ve already followed it, you won’t have to do anything different.

There are a few exceptions, but basically if you’re inside a place that’s not your home, and you don’t eat or drink (which you probably won’t, given that meals inside should be closed in most conditions), you should wear a mask.

If you are outdoors, but are somewhere where you can get within six feet of people, you should wear a mask. And if you’re in a car with someone who doesn’t live in your household, you should wear a mask.

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Read more:

  • A horrible milestone: A quarter of a million people have died in the United States of Covid-19. [The New York Times]

  • Here is what happened at the French Laundry dinner. [The New York Times]

  • Orange County set to provide 11,000 free home Covid test kits to residents, first to communities that have been disproportionately affected by the virus, and then to more residents as testing becomes available. [The Orange County Register]

  • In his annual address on the state of the district, the principal of the San Diego Unified School District was released a proposed education plan calling for significant federal coronavirus aid for schools. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

  • San Francisco rejected the Warriors’ ambitious plan to bring over 9,000 fans to games in the next NBA season – at least for now. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Newport Beach has canceled its famous annual Christmas Boat Parade to discourage people from congregating, although it is already ready to be released online. [The Daily Pilot]


This year, your Thanksgiving will be different. But if you adapt your traditions, we would love for you to share what it means.

Do you send pies by mail? Watching your cousins ​​fry a turkey on FaceTime? And why are these traditions important to you?

Please tell us here.


  • In an interview, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the parliamentary minority leader, credited President Trump with bringing in a turnout that helped get Republicans elected. [The New York Times]

See more California election results, including in the home races. [The New York Times]

  • The University of California, Berkeley, stripped down the names of professors who openly expressed their racist views from two buildings, LeConte Hall and Barrows Hall, after years of advocacy. [The Daily Californian]

Earlier this year, the name “Boalt Hall” was withdrawn from Berkeley Law School for a similar reason. [The New York Times]

  • An 800 mile fire break formerly known as the “Great Wall of California” is a first lesson that preventing forest fires in the state’s vast forests is complicated, costly and, often, unsuccessful. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Octavia Butler was rediscovered as a sort of prophet in our time. His writing and career were shaped by Los Angeles Libraries. Take a tour of his city. [The Los Angeles Times]


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.