California has ordered its over 40 million residents to stay at home as a preventive measure to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom told Californians they should only leave their homes when necessary during the pandemic.
Mr Newsom said on Thursday evening: “This is a moment we need to make tough decisions. We need to recognise reality.”
California is among the first US states to bring in blanket restrictions. Earlier this week Nevada said non-essential businesses should close for 30 days.
The governor’s order will allow residents to leave their homes to buy groceries or medicine, or walk a dog or take exercise, but seeks to limit public interactions.
It will force businesses deemed non-essential to close, while allowing others including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and petrol stations to stay open.
About half of the state’s population is already subject to similar stringent measures, including the city of San Francisco.
The Governor earlier estimated more than half of the 40 million people in his state would contract Covid-19 in just the next two months.
The virus has claimed 205 lives in the US and infected more than 14,000.
Globally nearly 250,000 patients have tested positive for the respiratory illness and more than 10,000 have died.
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