Most of California under strict new lockdown as cases surge

Washington, Dec 7(UNI) Most parts of the US state of California was put under a strict new lockdown on Monday, as the number of COVID-19 cases surged across the state and the country.

The new lockdown order will affect around 85 per cent of the state’s 40 million people and it will be in place for at least three weeks and cover the Christmas holiday, a BBC report said.

The measures came into force at 23:59 local time on Sunday (07:59 GMT on Monday) and covers the southern part of the state and its central valley. The new restrictions in California were issued after the intensive care capacity in hospitals shrunk sharply.

Elaborating on this Governor Gavin Newsom said that when capacity at intensive care units in any of five regions of the state goes below 15%, that region will automatically go into lockdown within 24 hours.

A local lockdown in San Francisco came into force slightly earlier. Other areas could follow within days. The new lockdown orders are similar to the similar orders issued in March, but with a few significant relaxations:

All retail stores will remain open, although only at 20% capacity, along with outside spaces such as parks and beaches. Gatherings are prohibited, and people are required to stay at home and minimise contact with other households Bars, hair salons and indoor restaurants are closed.

The lockdown will last for at least three weeks, and until ICU capacity goes above 15% again. Governor Newsom said that he hoped the measures would help “flatten the curve” and reduce the pressure on health services.


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