Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home order specifically prohibits private and public gatherings with individuals outside of a person’s immediate household.

Officials announced the order on Friday, attributing it to “alarming levels” of new coronavirus cases. While the order encourages residents to wear a mask and limit their appearances in public, it also bars them from gathering with non-household members, even in private settings. While there is an exception for faith-based services and protests, there is no explicit exception for gatherings in private residences.

“Gatherings: All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for faith-based services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights,” a release from the LA County Department of Public Health reads:

Public Health to Add Additional Safety Modifications to Health Officer Order – Targeted Safer at Home Order Comes After 5-Day Average of New Cases is 4,751. View https://t.co/CfWbZdkIZH pic.twitter.com/RAZRpJUcxK

— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) November 27, 2020

In addition to banning public or private gatherings with people outside of one’s household, the order allows “essential” retail stores to operate at 35 percent occupancy, maximum. Nonessential retail stores are barred at 20 percent occupancy, as are personal care services.

Outdoor fitness centers, zoos, aquariums, and minigolf courses are permitted to operate at 50 percent capacity.

The order also requires individuals to wear masks during outdoor recreation activities, “except for swimming and distancing.”

Per the order:

Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited. Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane. Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.

Indoor dining services at bars, restaurants, and breweries will remain closed “as customers are not wearing face coverings during their visit which results in an increased chance of transmission of the virus.”

“Restaurants, wineries and breweries remain open for pick-up, delivery, and take-out. Breweries and wineries remain open for retail sales at 20% occupancy,” the department added.

Even Tommy Vietor, former National Security Council spokesperson for former President Barack Obama, concluded that the newly announced rules — which essentially prohibit backyard gatherings with neighbors — make “zero sense and are completely unenforceable”:

So LA county residents can’t gather in parks or someone’s backyard with others outside of their household, but outdoor gyms, museums and mini-golf courses can operate at 50% capacity and indoor malls at 20%? These rules make zero sense and are completely unenforceable. https://t.co/OxebaQk56I

— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 27, 2020

LA Public Health reported 4,544 new cases of the virus on Friday:

COVID-19 Daily Update:November 27, 2020New Cases: 4,544 (387,793 to date)New Deaths: 24 (7,604 to date)Current Hospitalizations: 1,893 pic.twitter.com/62rEMz9JMW

— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) November 27, 2020

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged the sacrifice residents have made over the past few months but added that “acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge.”

“Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks,” she added.

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