Reopening California: What we know and don't about rules for bars, gyms, pro sports, schools, movie theaters to reopen Friday

ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Reopening California: Bars, gyms, sporting events, schools to open in CA starting Friday
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced schools, day camps, bars, gyms and professional sports could all reopen with modifications as soon as Friday, June 12.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced schools, day camps, bars, gyms and professional sports could all reopen with modifications as soon as Friday, June 12. But the initial announcement was very light on details.

UPDATE, June 8, 6:30 p.m.: The state added movie theaters and other entertainment businesses to the list of those allowed to reopen Friday. (See more below)

What rules will these businesses have to follow in order to reopen? As we get closer to the Friday start date, we're learning more about California's guidelines.

Note: Not all counties will move forward with reopening bars or gyms that early. For example, Contra Costa County is opening those businesses (and more) on July 1. San Francisco Mayor London Breed says that phase of reopening isn't slated until mid-August for the city.

RELATED: Here's everything allowed to open (and what we're still waiting on)

Here's what we know so far about what will happen in each sector:

Movie theaters and other "family entertainment centers"

Some, but not all, entertainment facilities will be allowed to reopen Friday. Those that made the cut include movie theaters, bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades.

Ice rinks, roller rinks, laser tag arenas and amusement/theme parks are still being asked to hold off. However, if the amusement park has a standalone bowling alley, miniature golf course, arcade or movie theater, it may open those operations with permission from the county. Other attractions like rides must not open.

The new rules for movie theaters include capping at 25% capacity, or with a maximum of 100 people, whichever number is lower. Theaters are encouraged to consider taking reservations, close or remove seats to promote physical distancing, and use disposable or washable seat covers.

See more guidelines entertainment centers must follow here.


While schools are technically going to be allowed to reopen statewide starting June 12, most won't reconvene until mid-August or early September. That's because districts are taking the summer to implement a long list of new health and safety guidelines released by the Department of Education Monday.

The new guidelines include:

  • Keeping students spaced out by at least 6 feet in the classroom
  • Requiring staff to wear a face mask or a clear face shield that allows students to see their expressions
  • Eliminating self-service buffets and shared tables in the cafeteria
  • Adopting new schedules that stagger start times or only have some students on campus any given day

See more about schools reopening here.

Day camps

In order to reopen on June 12 or later, the state recommends limiting campers to small groups that don't intermix, and maintaining distance between kids whenever possible. Staff not only needs to follow heightened hygiene protocols, but they also need to teach campers to do the same. All staff are required to wear face coverings; campers are encouraged to do so.

See all the changes for day camps here.

Bars and wineries

Workers are required to wear face coverings when they're around others and gloves when handling things used by customers, like glasses or coasters. Bars and wineries should also open windows, where possible, to improve air circulation. Any background music should be lowered so staff can safely take customers' orders without getting too close.

Tasting rooms have a few additional new rules to implement: a new glass for each pour, ditching communal dump buckets or spittoons, and making sure not to touch the neck of the bottle to the glass when pouring wine.

Bars and wineries are also being asked to "adjust maximum occupancy" based on size, but they aren't being held to a strict 25% capacity rule.

See the full guidelines here.

Gyms and fitness centers

Gyms are being told that in order to reopen, they should require patrons to wear face coverings at least while they enter and exit the facility. They can also encourage them to wear masks while working out. Patrons should be required to disinfect the equipment they use (weights, mats, etc.) after using it. Gyms are also encouraged to implement a "check-out system" for smaller equipment like jump ropes or exercise bands. Equipment needs to be spaced out by 6 feet or more.

Fitness centers like yoga studios should consider requiring people to bring their own mats and towels.

See the full rules here.

Professional sports (without live audiences)

Pro sports teams can resume training and competing after June 12, but we don't know much yet about what exactly that will look like.

"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, athletes, coaching staff, medical staff, broadcasting staff and others at sporting facilities or events should abide by COVID-19 protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers.

Back office staff should follow the same guidelines as the "offices" sector and retail workers should follow retail guidelines. See more here.

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