Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has suggested that festivals, concerts, sporting events and other mass events may be off-limits until next year, according to documents seen by the LA Times and confirmed by the mayor’s office.

The prospect that any mass gathering may be unhealthy by definition after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic was raised by Mayor Garcetti at an internal meeting of the Los Angeles city administration. A summary of the mayor’s comments were made by Los Angeles Fire Department Deputy Chief Trevor Richmond and sent in a memo to other fire department personnel.

Garcetti told them that “Large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events may not be approved in the city for at least 1 year.” This would be in the far distant, final phase of a draft plan to reopen the city for business beginning with “essential business and small businesses… phased in over a period of time (6-10 months),” according to the LA Times’ summary of the email.

Garcetti via a spokesman confirmed the substance of the conversation.

Multiple experts and leaders have suggested that going back to “normal” will be impossible without a COVID-19 vaccine, which is not expected to be approved for public use until next year.

In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker has likewise advised promoters and permit-granting authorities to “think seriously” about cancelling this summer’s events, which many have already begun to do.

Photo: Scott L from Los Angeles, United States of America / CC BY-SA