California, the most populous state in the US, has asked its approximately 40 million residents to stay indoors to control the spread of the coronavirus. Many EU countries have implemented travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines
Gavin Newsom, the governor who made this order stands as the first statewide mandatory restrictions issued in the U.S. to help combat the outbreak. However, it includes exemptions for essential services such as public safety and medical care. Services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food delivery restaurants as well as banks would remain open.
Newsom’s order came after he asked Donald Trump to send a US Navy medical ship to provide more health care for the state, warning that more than half of California’s population could get infected in two months. “We project that roughly 56% of our state’s population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period,” he said in a letter to Trump.
“California has been helping people returning to the US from overseas and needs the San Diego-based ship to help “decompress” its health care system as infection rates skyrocket,” Newsom wrote. He warned that infection rates are doubling every four days in some parts of the state. “Even with the order, residents can take part in some activities as long as people maintain a social distance,” he said. “Go about the essential patterns of life, but do so by socially distancing themselves from others and do so using a common sense, home isolation is not my preferred choice, but it is a necessary one. This is not a permanent state, it is a moment in time.”
The order will not be enforced by law enforcement, he added. “I don’t believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it’s appropriate just to home isolate, protect themselves. We are confident that the people of the state of California will abide by it and do the right thing.”
Nineteen people have died and more than nine hundred have tested positive with the virus. The lockdown, which will stay so until further notice, came a day after Newsom warned that more than half the state is projected to be infected with the virus in just two months.
The US State Department on Thursday cautioned its citizens not to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, issuing the highest possible level of travel advisory. The Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory “advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.” The State Department urged Americans “in countries where commercial departure options remain available” to “arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” The updated advisory also cautioned US citizens living abroad to “avoid all international travel.”
“Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice,” it said. “Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips,” it said. “If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.” In some part of Germany, citizens not abiding by this restriction will have to pay 25,000 Euro or 2 years imprisonment.