By Miriam Raftery
April 3, 2021 (Sacramento) – State officials yesterday announced a major rollback of COVID-19 restrictions. Indoor events can resume in most counties starting April 15, including concerts, plays, indoor sports, conferencesand private receptions.
Those restrictions include capacity limits and requirements for attendees to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Still, the news comes as welcome relief for long-shuttered theaters, concert halls and other venues as well as for nonprofit organizations in need of benefit events and families eager to host weddings or other celebrations.
Reopening events is subject to approval of local health officials and cannot occur in counties still in the most restrictive purple tier. San Diego County is currently in the red tier, poised to advance into the less restrictive orange tier soon if the downward trend in COVID-19 cases continues. (Counties in the purple tier can resume outdoor gatherings only.)
“Today’s update to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is a result of the progress we are making both in vaccinations and in controlling the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary. “By following public health guidelines such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated when eligible, we can resume additional activities as we take steps to reduce risk.”
For private events such as receptions or conferences:
- Counties in the most restrictive purple tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy can permit outdoor gatherings up to 25 people, or up to 100 people if all attendees show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
- In the red tier, the outdoor gatherings can be 50 people or up to 200 with vaccination/testing proof, while indoor gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted with vaccination/testing proof.
- In the orange tier, outdoor gatherings can be 100 people or up to 300 with vaccination/testing, while indoor activities are permitted for 150 people with vaccination/testing.
- In the yellow tier, outdoor gatherings are allowed up to 200 people, or 400 with vaccination/testing, and indoor events allowed up to 200 people, with vaccination/testing of all attendees.
For indoor live events and performances, which state officials said includes sports arenas, theaters and other event venues, such events are banned in counties in the restrictive purple tier, but permitted in other tiers, with varying capacities, advance ticket purchases, physical distancing, designated eating/drinking areas and in-state guests only.
For venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people:
- In the red tier, capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people, and capacity increases to 25% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- In the orange tier, capacity is limited to 15% or 200 people, increasing to 35% if all guests are tested or vaccinated.
- In the yellow tier, capacity is limited to 25% or 300 people, increasing to 50% with testing/vaccination of all guests.
For venues with capacity of 1,501 or higher:
- In the red tier, capacity is limited to 20% with testing or vaccination proof required for all guests.
- In the orange tier, capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, increasing to 35% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
- In the yellow tier, capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, increasing to 50% if all guests are tested or vaccinated.