Los Angeles shuts down bars, restaurants, and freezes evictions to combat coronavirus

LA is among several cities taking drastic measures to stop the spread of COVID-19

Mar.March 16, 2020 10:02 AM
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday ordered the emergency closure of bars, clubs, restaurants, and other high-traffic businesses to mitigate the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

The measure will take effect immediately and extend through the end of March. Restaurants will be restricted to takeout and delivery business only, according to the L.A. Times. Entertainment venues including movie theaters and gyms are also ordered to close, while grocery stores and cafeterias in medical facilities will remain open.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio imposed a near-identical measure on Sunday.

Garcetti also placed a two-week moratorium on eviction proceedings in the city if a tenant can prove that circumstances related to COVID-19 hampered their ability to pay rent. The city will form a fund to offer loans to small businesses affected by anti-virus measures.

The closure of restaurants and other businesses could severely impact employees and business owners. Many renters in the L.A. metro area, like many other large metros in the U.S., are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than a third of their income on rent. The median renter in L.A. spends about 36 percent of their income on rent.

The spread of the virus has affected the real estate industry at nearly every level. It has disrupted construction supply chains, leading to delays at building sites. Some L.A. residential brokerages have cancelled open houses and private showings.

As of Sunday, L.A. County had confirmed at least 69 cases of coronavirus. There are 335 confirmed cases and six deaths across the state. [LAT]Dennis Lynch

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