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'It's Simple': Mayor Eric Garcetti Orders Angelenos To Wear Masks Whenever Leaving Home

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Masks are a must anywhere beyond home now, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.

Los Angeles is in the process of reopening slowly after shutting down to slow the spread of coronavirus. But because restrictions are gradually easing, Garcetti said that face coverings are needed to keep people safe.

"That will help us get more freedoms, open up more parts of our city," he said.

Garcetti's updated safer-at-home order makes masks a requirement for all Angelenos, except for small children and those with disabilities. The mayor announced the new rule at his Wednesday briefing, possibly to clarify previously confusing rules about wearing masks.

Earlier this week, masks became mandatory to ride Metro trains and buses, or to visit LAX. However, masks were not necessarily required while visiting outdoor areas like Griffith Park -- until now.

Runner Sylvia Benabidez says covering her face while running is tough, so she doesn't do it. But she still wears a neck gaiter, just in case.

"If anybody comes toward me, absolutely, I will use it," she said.

Cloth face coverings were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the beginning of April, even though they don't provide the comprehensive protection of N95 masks that officials say should be reserved for medical professionals treating patients.

"As long as you're not doing a solitary activity, or with your own household, put that mask on, always now, and that is a requirement," Garcetti said.

However, store requirements to wear masks have led to some vehement disagreement, spurring some to attack security guards and boycott stores like Costco.

The order is stricter than the one issued by Los Angeles County, which requires all essential workers and anyone visiting an essential business to cover their faces. It's not clear, however, how the order will be enforced.

"It's simple: wear one whenever you go out," Garcetti said.

The guidelines also apply to beaches, where officials say residents must wear a mask when not in the water.

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