(Reuters) – Three U.S. states – California, New York and Illinois – have issued similar statewide “stay at home” orders directing more than 72 million residents to remain in their homes for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic. New Jersey and Connecticut are expected to follow suit.
Here is a look at what is allowed – and what is not – under the most sweeping government clampdown yet in the worsening public health crisis.
WHAT DOES ‘STAY AT HOME’ MEAN?
Residents have been ordered to remain in their homes and not go to work unless they are in an “essential business.” Residents are allowed to visit essential stores and take walks.
WHAT CAN STAY OPEN?
Quite a few businesses are defined as “essential.”
– Food outlets including grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants
– Banks and related financial institutions
– Gas stations/auto repair
– Laundromats/laundry services
– Businesses providing shelter and social services
– Newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets
– Mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
– Airlines, taxis and private transportation providers
– Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
– Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers and senior facilities
– Pet supply stores
– Construction sites, engineering and architecture firms
– Exterminators, landscape and pool care businesses
– Hardware stores, plumbers, contractors and appliance repair personnel
– Essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.
WHAT IS CLOSED
– Bars and nightclubs
– Entertainment places
– Gyms and fitness studios
– Public events and gatherings
– Convention centers
– Dine-in restaurants
– Malls and retail outlets
WHO IS EXEMPTED?
– Healthcare workers, essential municipal workers such as bus drivers, workers in essential businesses and communications’ workers including the news media.
WHAT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE PERMITTED?
Exceptions to the stay-at-home rule would be granted for residents to make trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors and laundromats.
The orders also allow people to leave their homes to take hikes, jog, ride bikes or skateboards and walk their dogs.
HOW WILL IT BE ENFORCED?
– In California, violations can be treated as misdemeanors punishable by fines and imprisonment. But a Los Angeles County sheriff’s official said on Twitter the department did not plan on making arrests to enforce the order. California’s governor said he hoped it would mostly be enforced by “social pressure.”
– The New York state order would be enforced with civil fines and mandatory closures for any businesses not in compliance.
– The governor of Illinois said he has instructed law enforcement officers to monitor the orders but did not give details.
(Compiled by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Will Dunham)