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image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionSan Francisco's local lockdown began slightly earlier than in some other parts of the state

Most parts of the US state of California are under a strict new lockdown, as Covid-19 continues to surge across the country.

The stay-at-home order affects around 85% of the state's 40 million people. It will be in place for at least three weeks and cover the Christmas holiday.

Many businesses will be closed, and people will be banned from meeting anyone outside their household.

On Sunday, the US had a record number of people in hospital with Covid-19.

The country has seen a sharp rise in cases and Covid-related deaths in recent weeks, a surge that could be partly down to last month's Thanksgiving holiday, when millions of Americans travelled around the US.

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The new restrictions in California – the country's most populous state – were triggered by intensive care capacity in hospitals shrinking.

The measures apply to the southern part of the state and its central valley, while other areas could follow within days. San Francisco has also gone into lockdown, with the mayor imposing a separate set of orders.

California's lockdown in March, in which all non-essential businesses were closed, was seen as an early model for the US at the beginning of the pandemic.