Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that outdoor sports amenities at Recreation and Parks facilities throughout the City of Los Angeles will be closed to the public in order to support the urgent need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 emergency period.
“Our parks remain incredible resources for healthy activity — but we’ve seen too many people in unsafe crowds for outdoor activities during this emergency,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Angelenos are safer at home right now. When we go out for fresh air and exercise, it should be in our own neighborhoods and at a safe distance from other people.”
Today’s announcement covers the closure of all outdoor sports amenities — including skate parks, tennis courts, baseball fields, and basketball courts. Parks still remain open for walking or running; however, when at a park for any reason, Angelenos must maintain a distance of at least six feet between individuals at all times. Restrooms accessible to the outdoors will remain open during regular operating hours.
A host of Recreation & Parks facilities have already been placed off-limits to the public during the COVID-19 emergency. The Mayor had previously announced the closure of Runyon Canyon, Bronson Canyon, and the Venice Pier, as well as all City recreation centers, golf courses, aquatic facilities, and beach parking lots. All recreation centers, senior centers, and playgrounds are also closed, and all recreation and cultural programming, indoor and outdoor sports leagues, aquatics classes, instructional courses, and group sessions have been cancelled. Griffith Park amenities are closed as well — including the Observatory, Travel Town and Train Rides, Pony Rides and the Merry Go Round — along with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Sherman Oaks Castle, and the EXPO Center.
To ease some practical concerns being felt by Angelenos at this unprecedented moment, Mayor Garcetti has directed City departments to relax parking and law enforcement for violations related to vehicle registration and driver’s license cards during the COVID-19 emergency period.
“People need to stay in their homes except for the most unavoidable outside tasks — and Angelenos don’t need to be worried about renewing tags and driver’s licenses right now,” said Mayor Garcetti. “If you can do those things online, then you should. But we should keep our focus on staying healthy and safer at home, and think about catching up on errands like these after this emergency ends.”
The Mayor’s memorandum “direct[s] the General Manager of the Department of Transportation to ensure that its parking officers refrain from ticketing or towing any vehicles for expired registration during this emergency period. Vehicle owners shall remain subject to all other parking enforcement restrictions, consistent with state and local laws and applicable emergency orders.
“I further direct the Chief of Police to issue guidance to police officers to refrain, during this emergency period, from issuing citations for driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations that have expired in the last six months. Drivers within the City of Los Angeles will nonetheless be expected to obey all other laws; nothing in this memorandum should be construed to suggest that the Police Department will not be enforcing all moving violations, consistent with state and local laws and any applicable emergency orders.”
In the same memorandum, Mayor Garcetti also directs City Departments to lift bureaucratic hurdles to securing necessary supplies — personal protective or construction equipment, hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves — so that workers can get them even more quickly when they are needed.
The “Safer at Home” emergency order requires City of Los Angeles residents to remain in their homes except for the most essential activities — including critical tasks such as securing food and health, safety and medical necessities, as well as caring for children, elder adults, family, friends and people with disabilities. Mayor Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer said this week that the City would strengthen enforcement against out-of-compliance businesses as necessary.
Mayor Garcetti is taking a series of emergency actions in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, including a plan to quickly shelter thousands of Angelenos experiencing homelessness; restrictions placed on bars, nightclubs, restaurants, movie theaters, entertainment venues, bowling alleys and arcades, gyms and fitness centers; and limits on public gatherings in City facilities. The Mayor has also taken several steps to support residents and businesses during the local emergency — including placing a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions and water and power shutoffs.
More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at coronavirus.lacity.org.