Indoor concerts, sports and private events can return in California starting April 15


In this photo taken March 15, 2021, the Paramount Theatre, which is operated by the non-profit Seattle Theatre Group arts organization, displays a sign that reads “One Year Closed 3/11/20 – 3/11/21,” to mark the one year anniversary of the date the venue, which hosts concerts, plays, and other performances, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


Indoor concerts, conferences, sports and other private gatherings will be allowed to resume in California starting April 15. The state also loosened restrictions for outdoor gatherings as coronavirus cases continue to decrease.

“We have been art-starved for over a year, so this is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Broadway San Jose General Manager Gretchen Feyer.

To attend, people will have to either be tested or show proof of full vaccination. How many people can attend gatherings will depend on the level of restrictions in place at each county. The state divides counties into four tiers based on how widespread the virus is in those places, reported ABC7.

Here are California’s new rules on indoor live events or performances according to KTLA, 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.

“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.”

If venues separate people into sections, people in the “fully vaccinated” section can sit shoulder to shoulder but they still must wear masks, according to state Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón.

“This is really going to be a pathway to allowing venues to meet the capacity limits,” said state Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón.

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