Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced he was taking a “hard pause” on when movie theatre in the city can reopen, citing an increase in coronavirus cases.

LA County is the biggest movie theatre market in the United States.

“We have hit a hard pause on opening any more businesses such as movie theatres, bowling alleys, playgrounds, concert halls, theme parks or other entertainment venues,” Garcetti said at a news briefing.

He did not give a date for when movie theatres in Los Angeles might be given the green light to reopen.

The theatre business has been devastated by the coronavirus shutdowns that began in mid-March, laying off tens of thousands of employees and borrowing funds to stay afloat.

On Monday AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the nation’s biggest movie theatre chain, said it had delayed the reopening of its venues in the United States by two weeks to July 30.

 

Garcetti said the rise in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles in the last few days meant that it was “time for a collective course correction.”

Record COVID-19 surges

California and Texas both marked record spikes in new COVID-19 infections on Monday, as Los Angeles reported an “alarming” one-day surge in America’s second-largest city that put it over 100 000 cases.

Los Angeles has become a new epicentre in the pandemic as coronavirus cases and hospitalisations surge there despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s strict orders requiring bars to close and residents to wear masks in nearly all public spaces.

LA County said its beaches will be closed for the Independence Day weekend and fireworks displays will be banned.

State-wide positive tests for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, rose by at least 7 418 in California Monday to nearly 223 000.

This is the biggest one-day increase since tracking began.

California is among a number of US states including Florida, Texas and Arizona battling a new wave of infections as the nation emerges from weeks of clamp-downs on residents and businesses.

COVID-19 infections in Texas rose by 6 545 on Monday to nearly 160 000, also setting a record for a one-day increase.

Nationally, cases rose by more than 40 000 for the fourth time in the past five days.