Eric Garcetti
© REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has warned city residents that it's time to "hunker down" amid the holiday season, with travel only being allowed for "essential" trips.

"My message couldn't be simpler," Garcetti said at a Wednesday night press conference. "It's time to hunker down. It's time to cancel everything. And if it isn't essential, don't do it."

The latest stay-at-home order for Los Angeles makes exceptions for travel, such as work, shopping for food, and getting automobile service.

The mayor has also warned residents that "gatherings" are prohibited. "Don't meet up with others outside your household. Don't host a gathering. Don't attend a gathering," he said.

Violating the city's pandemic orders is a misdemeanor and can be punishable with fines or even imprisonment.

Thousands of Los Angeles residents received an emergency text message ahead of the mayor's press conference that warned: "all persons living within the City of Los Angeles are hereby ordered to remain in their homes."

Garcetti's warning has been mocked by many conservative critics on social media, some of whom have pointed to the growing number of politicians across the country who have been caught red-handed breaking their own Covid-19 advice and forced into apologies.

"No I will not 'cancel everything' and I can have anyone I damn well please in my house," podcaster and author Dave Rubin, who lives in Los Angeles, tweeted in response to the mayor.

Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler issued a warning similar to Garcetti's to his city this week, warning folks to stay home. What he left out in his message was that he was speaking from a vacation home in Mexico. Once the fact was made public, Adler apologized for setting a "bad example."

Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock also released an apology after telling residents to avoid traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, only to hours later do exactly that himself when he flew to Mississippi for the holiday.

California's own governor, Gavin Newsom, recently apologized after photos were released of him seemingly violating his state's pandemic restrictions by attending a birthday dinner with multiple households in attendance, none of whom appeared to be wearing masks in the pictures.

Los Angeles County has seen an uptick in cases recently with nearly 6,000 reported on Wednesday following a record-high 7,593 the day before. Garcetti claims if cases continue to increase at a steady pace, "the county expects we will run out of hospital beds here in Los Angeles by Christmas-time."