Some outdoor ball parks, stadiums and theme parks will be eligible for reopening with “greatly reduced capacity” from April 1 in counties that meet certain conditions, California officials said on Friday.
The unexpected announcement changes the state’s COVID-19 framework called the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing what the California Department of Public Health has called “activities that can be carried out outdoors with masking coherent”.
The change is made possible by declining rates of cases and hospitalizations, as well as the distribution of three COVID-19 vaccines and a plan for a more equitable distribution of these vaccines, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California. Health and Human Services Agency.
“California can safely and gradually begin to bring back more activities, especially those that take place outdoors and where consistent masking is possible,” Ghaly said in a press release. “Even with these changes, California retains some of the strongest public health protocols in the country.”
The ability to reopen sports venues, live shows, and theme parks depends on the counties’ position in the color-coded state reopening plan. Most counties, including all of Southern California, remain in the most restrictive purple level. But many are likely to drop to the red level in the coming weeks.
The changes announced on Friday are as follows, effective April 1:
Outdoor sports in ball parks and stadiums, and live shows:
- purple level counties: limited to 100 “regional participants” or less; advance reservations required; no concession or hall sale
- red level counties: limited to 20% of their capacity; visitors in the state only; no hall sales but mainly concession sales at head office
- Orange level counties: limited to 33% of their capacity; state visitors only
- yellow level counties: limited to 67% of their capacity; state visitors only
Amusement and theme parks:
- red level counties: limited to 15% capacity
- Orange level counties: limited to 25% capacity
- yellow level counties: limited to 35% capacity
- no dining room inside
- limits on indoor walks
In addition, theme parks should only accept visitors from the state of California, Ghaly said at a press briefing on Friday, adding that a statewide travel advisory remains in place. .
Dee Dee Myers, an adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom, said operators will be able to determine where people are coming from to restrict access, as theme parks are required to make reservations online before their tours .
Major theme parks were closed for about a year as the state grappled with several outbreaks of the virus.
Under the state’s previous reopening framework, large theme parks were not allowed to open until the counties they are in reached the yellow level, the least restrictive of the reopening plan in four levels of state. Currently, most counties in California are in the most restrictive purple level, Los Angeles and Orange counties are expected to be upgraded to red.
Last month, two southern California state lawmakers introduced a bill intended to pressure Newsom to speed up the reopening of major state theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.
The new changes also come after Newsom on Wednesday announced an equity focus on vaccine distribution using the State’s Healthy Places Index, a resource that features community conditions that predict life expectancy and influence health. The governor said 40% of the vaccine supply will be reserved for the most vulnerable populations in the state.
Once 2 million vaccines are distributed to vulnerable communities, officials said the state will make it easier for counties to move through the tiers and reopen their economies.
Check back for updates on this developing story..
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