As governors across the nation contemplate the partial reopening of their states for business after the novel coronavirus pandemic put a stop to everyday normalcy, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has confirmed that his city will not authorize large gatherings of events, including concerts, sporting events and movie premieres until at least 2021.
“It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year,” Garcetti told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly,” he continued. “But until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention, or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
Garcetti’s comments to CNN follow an earlier report by the Los Angeles Times in which the mayor was quoted by an email obtained from the fire department saying “large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events may not be approved in the city for at least 1 year.” That would bring the timeline through at least spring 2021.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier today also indicated that his city would be following a similar banning of large gatherings for the foreseeable future.
“I’ve got to see in my city real steady progress, even to start to think about relaxing some of those social distancing standards even a little bit. I want to get people back to work, of course. I want to get kids back to school. But I think it will take months to go through that whole sequence,” he said. “And the last thing I want to do is gather 10,000, 20,000, [or] 50,000 people in one place, that’s like the exact opposite of social distancing.”
Garcetti reiterated that Los Angeles remains under “Stay at Home” orders, which he extended through at least Friday, May 15. “But I do think, as we’ve all said, there is no light switch that will go on, this is more like a circuit breaker box and we have to have the ability to turn it all off again should we see outbreaks.”
“The 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” were scheduled to take place in June at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium as part of an extensive three-day gathering of daytime television’s biggest stars in drama, talk, game and court, among other categories.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences postponed all of its big event last month due to the escalation of COVID-19. In recent days, however, NATAS President Adam Sharp told Soaps.com, “The hope is we will be able to put those on this year in the format and form people are used to. For the Daytime Emmys, it’s a little more difficult. There were simply no other dates we could present in the usual form. There’ll be a mix of some online and virtual elements, but the hope is that things return to some form of normal in a time frame that allows us to do some live events as well, but however you slice it the ceremonies will take a different form than originally planned.”
With Garcetti putting a kibosh on large gatherings until next year in L.A., it looks like the virtual route will be required as officials in other major cities, including Pasadena, are likely to follow the lead of the nation’s two biggest cities — New York City and Los Angeles.