State updates event guidance to allow limited crowds for live performances, private events

A table blocks patrons from entering the dining room at Roseville pub Goose Port on May 14, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Counties outside of the state’s purple COVID-19 reopening tier will be allowed to resume indoor events like conferences and concerts as soon as April 15, according to new guidance announced Friday by state public health officials.

Counties that are in the red, orange and yellow tiers will be allowed to resume indoor live events and performances with capacity caps ranging from 10 to 50 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Capacity caps will change depending on the tier in which a county sits as well as whether a venue requires all attendees to be tested or show proof of full vaccination before entering.

Indoor event spaces will also be required to sell tickets in advance, designate areas for eating and drinking, ensure attendees can remain physically distant from each other and limit attendance to California residents.

Masked employees work in the open kitchen overlooking the dining room at Cole’s Chop House in downtown Napa on May 22. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

“We will continue to work with businesses, arts organizations, community groups and others to open carefully, with health and safety top of mind, so that we never have to go backwards,” said Dee Dee Myers, a senior advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The CDPH also issued updated guidance allowing private events like receptions and conferences to resume both outdoors and indoors.

Such activities must be held outside and can have capacities up to 25 people in the purple tier, 50 in the red tier, 100 in the orange tier and 200 in the yellow tier.

Attendees will also have to purchase tickets in advance and events must have a defined guest list and assigned seating. Private events can move indoors and expand capacity if all guests have tested negative or shown full proof of vaccination.

Smaller outdoor gatherings are also allowed under the new guidance, which previously limited gatherings to three households.

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

As of April 15, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed in the red tier, up to 50 people in the orange tier and up to 100 people in the yellow tier.

Outdoor gatherings in the purple tier remain limited to three households and must be held outdoors while gatherings in the other three tiers can be held indoors with modifications and capacity limits, although they remain discouraged by state officials.

State public health officials said the changes to the tier system, formally known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, are the result of continuing vaccination progress and lowering COVID-19 case rates across the state.

“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,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the secretary of the state’s Health and Human Services Agency.

An updated chart of what activities are allowed in each tier of the Blueprint can be found HERE.

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