April 2, 2021 at 9:21 pm PDT | by Brody Levesque
CDC says fully vaccinated folks can travel as California opens limited indoor events
Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – In updates to its website for travel guidance Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S., without getting tested for the coronavirus or quarantining.

The agency also stresses that it is recommending precautions like wearing a mask, keep social distance and avoiding crowds. However, health officials continue to discourage nonessential travel, citing a sustained rise in cases across the nation and an uptick in hospitalizations.

The announcement comes less than a month after the CDC first released updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people, which the agency has described as a “first step” toward returning to everyday activities.

Dee Dee Myers, Director of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Office of Business and Economic Development announced Friday that the state will allow indoor live events and performances to resume with limitations this month, the latest rules to be relaxed amid declining COVID-19 case rates and continuing vaccinations.

“Allowing some of these activities and opportunities to vaccinated individuals is an incentive,” said Myers. “If they can return to some of their favorite activities because they’re vaccinated then hopefully a few more people will go and get vaccinated.”

Myers noted that while California officials won’t require testing or proof of vaccination for some of those events, the state will issue directives that do limit the number of people allowed to attend.

Events that do require testing and vaccinations will be allowed to have more paying customers than those that don’t. Only people who live in California can attend these live performances.

Staples Center (Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles Tourism)

Here are California’s new rules on indoor live events or performances beginning April 15, for venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people: 

  • In the purple tier: indoor live events or performances are not allowed.
  • In the red tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people, but 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, but it increases to 35% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 
  • In the yellow tier: capacity in limited to 25% or 300 people, but it increases to 50% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 

For larger venues:

  • In the red tier: testing or proof of vaccination is required, and capacity is limited to 20%. 
  • In the orange tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, but it increases to 35% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 
  • In the yellow tier: capacity is limited to 10% or 2,000 people, and it increases to 50% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. 

In addition to the capacity limits, venues will have to make modifications like requiring advance ticket purchases, setting up designated areas for eating and drinking, and limiting attendance to in-state visitors. 

Here are the state’s new rules on private events or meetings like wedding receptions or conferences beginning April 15:

  • In the purple tier: private gatherings are only allowed outdoors and capacity is limited to 25 people. But if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination, capacity goes up to 100 people. 
  • In the red tier: indoor gatherings are allowed with capacity limited to 100 people if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, or 200 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • In the orange tier: indoor activities are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination, but capacity is limited to 150 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, or 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • In the yellow tier: indoor gatherings are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination; capacity is limited to 200 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people, and capacity increases to 400 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.

KTLA reported that the new rules will continue to adhere to California’s tier system, in which sectors of the economy can reopen depending on how widespread the virus is in each county.

In the most restrictive purple tier, indoor concerts, sporting events and theater productions aren’t allowed. In the red tier, venues of up to 1,500 people can operate at 10% and grow to 25% if all guests provide evidence of vaccination or a negative test.

Venues of 1,501 people or more can operate at 20% capacity in the red tier, but must show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Capacity increases for tiers where the virus is less widespread.

Private indoor events, including wedding receptions and conventions, are not allowed in the purple tier. In the red tier, they are limited to 100 people and all guests must show proof of either a negative test or that they have been fully vaccinated. More people can attend such events in less restrictive tiers.

Most of California’s 58 counties are in the red tier, but big population centers like San Francisco, Santa Clara County and Los Angeles County are in the less restrictive orange tier. Just two counties are in the lowest yellow tier.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 74 new deaths and 692 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. There are 634 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,111,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Friday’s daily test positivity rate is 1.4%.

The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order was updated Friday to reflect newly permitted activities allowed in the orange tier, beginning Monday, April 5 at 12:01 a.m. Additional safety modifications are required or recommended for many sectors.

(Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

The modifications to the Health Officer Order include the following:

  • Bars that do not provide meals will be allowed to open outdoors with distancing, masking and infection control safety measures. Indoor operations are not permitted. Visits are limited to 90 minutes. Masks are required except when people are eating or drinking. There can be no counter seating and people can eat or drink only when they are seated. Tables must be 8 feet apart, with a maximum of 6 people from up to 3 different households. There can be no live entertainment, television is permitted outdoors only and hours of operations are from 11:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

  • Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries that do not serve meals can remain open outdoors and can also open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. These establishments will follow the same public health directives as bars for their outdoor areas, however, there are additional requirements for indoor spaces: reservations are required for indoor seating, there is a maximum of 6 people per table and they must be from the same household, and there is no live entertainment or television viewing indoors.

  • Restaurants can increase capacity for indoor dining to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less with continued safety modifications.

  • Cardrooms can operate indoors at 25% capacity. There must be 8-feet of distancing between tables and masks are always required. Food and beverages remain banned from card tables.

  • Places of Worship can hold services indoors at 50% capacity.

  • Fitness Centers can operate indoors at 25% capacity and indoor pools can now re-open. Masks are always required unless swimming.

  • Movie Theatres can increase capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less. Seats must be reserved, and each group must have 6 feet of distance from other groups in all directions. Eating is allowed in only designated areas or in your reserved seat.

  • Family Entertainment Centers can open indoors at 25% capacity for distanced activities, such as bowling or escape rooms. Masks remain required.

  • Grocery and Retail Stores can increase capacity to 75%, although Public Health strongly recommends grocery stores remain at 50% capacity until April 15 to allow as many grocery store workers as possible get vaccinated.

  • Hair Salons, Barbershops and Personal Care Services can increase capacity to 75% with masks required, except for services where customers need to remove their masks. For services where customers must remove their face coverings, staff must wear a fitted N95 and goggles or a mask with a face shield.

  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums can be open indoors at 50% capacity.

  • Youth and Adult Recreational Sports can apply to Public Health for approval for athletic events, tournaments or competitions that involve more than two teams or multiple individuals.

Yesterday, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded to all residents 50 through 64 years of age in addition to all other eligible groups. For information about who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in L.A. County, how to make an appointment if it is your turn, what verifications you will need to show at your vaccination appointment, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com  (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

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