The California Department of Public Health announced the changes on Friday as the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 nears a record low. It's a sharp turnaround from the slow pace California has taken on lifting restrictions, and comes as the governor urges people to continue being vigilant about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
To attend, people will have to either be tested or show proof of full vaccination. How many people can attend gatherings will depend on the level of restrictions in place at each county. The state divides counties into four tiers based on how widespread the virus is in those places.
The purple tier is most restrictive. Indoor concerts and theater performances aren't allowed in this tier. They are allowed in the red tier, but at 10% capacity for venues of up to 1,500 people and 20% capacity for venues with capacity greater than that. Capacity limits increase in the lower tiers.
Private events, including receptions or conferences, are allowed only outdoors in the purple tier and will be limited to 25 people. They're allowed indoors in the red tier, but limited to 50 people. However, that capacity increases to 200 people if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination.
"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," California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. "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."
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