Los Angeles closes bars, nightclubs in virus shutdown: mayor

Los Angeles closes bars, nightclubs in virus shutdown: mayor

Bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Los Angeles have been ordered to close their doors for at least two weeks as US cities take drastic action to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

"To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, I'm taking executive action to temporarily close bars, nightclubs, restaurants (except takeout/delivery), entertainment venues, and other establishments," wrote Mayor Eric Garcetti on his Facebook page.

The measure in the metropolis of nearly four million follows a similar dramatic shutdown in New York, also announced on Sunday, and the shuttering of several casinos and hotels in Las Vegas.

Garcetti said there was "no food shortage and grocery stores will remain open," adding that the steps were being taken to avoid putting "dangerous" strain on the healthcare system.

He said the orders would take effect at midnight (0700 GMT Monday) and would stay in place until March 31, "unless extended."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new nationwide guidance recommending organizers cancel or postpone any events of 50 people or more -- with the exception of day-to-day activities in education or business.

Schools, museums, sports arenas and entertainment venues have already closed in many US states.