LOS ANGELES - As the vaccination rate increases in California, health officials have updated the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy to allow for additional activities to reopen.
Beginning April 15, the state will allow for concerts, receptions, conferences as well as live sporting events to be held indoors.
"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," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. "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."
The new guidelines will be based on approval by each local health department.
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.
Blueprint for a Safer Economy
For indoor live events and performances, which includes sports arenas, theaters and other event venues, 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.
Los Angeles and Orange counties will soon enter the orange tier… and with the updates guidelines from the state fans will soon be able to return to the Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers posted a statement online saying they are looking forward to having fans back in the stands.
"Now that we have guidance, we will work with LA County Public Health and Staples Center to finalize our plans to have fans safely attend our games starting with the Lakers vs. Celtics game on April 15th," the post read.
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; and
-- 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; and
-- in the yellow tier, capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, increasing to 50% if all guests are tested or vaccinated.
The state guidance also includes provisions that would allow venues to have designated sections of spectators who have all been vaccinated and who could be seated without need for physical distancing.
Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County's health officer, said the county will need to review the full details of the state's guidelines. He said the county in general tries to align with the state's guidance, but officials will review the specifics and "try to figure out what makes the most sense for us'' locally to determine if any adjustments need to be made.
As of March 30, three counties are in the Purple Tier, 36 counties in the Red Tier, 17 counties in Orange Tier, and two counties in the Yellow Tier.
City News Service contributed to this report