Indoor events can return in the red tier or better April 15 as COVID-19 conditions improve

The cast of "Cambodian Rock Band," which had its San Diego premiere in 2019 at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Scenes like this with the cast of “Cambodian Rock Band,” which had its San Diego premiere in 2019 at the La Jolla Playhouse, can go back before indoor live audiences starting April 15 in counties in the red tier or above.

California will allow indoor live events and performances to resume, with limitations, starting Thursday, April 15 — the latest rules to be relaxed amid declining coronavirus case rates and continuing vaccinations.

Under new state guidance unveiled April 2, those types of activities could take place in the red tier — San Diego County’s current standing in the state’s color-coded reopening roadmap — and in the orange and yellow tiers, subject to capacity limits and other safety modifications. They would not be allowed in the purple tier, the most restrictive rung.

The changes are “a result of the progress we are making both in vaccinations and in controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, said in a statement. “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.”

For venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people, the new rules will be as follows:

  • In the red tier, capacity would be limited to 10 percent or 100 people — though that could increase to 25 percent if all guests show proof of a negative coronavirus test or full vaccination against COVID-19.
  • In the next step up the ladder — the orange tier — the capacity cap would be 15 percent or 200 people and increase to 35 percent if all guests are tested or fully vaccinated.
  • In the least-restrictive yellow tier, maximum capacity would rise to 25 percent or 300 people and could grow to 50 percent if everyone is tested or completely vaccinated.

For larger venues:

  • In the red tier, testing or proof of vaccination would be required, with capacity restricted to 20 percent.
  • In the orange tier, the base limit would be 10 percent or 2,000 people, though it could increase to 35 percent if all guests are tested or fully vaccinated.
  • In the yellow tier, the cap also is set at 10 percent or 2,000 people, though it could increase to 50 percent if all guests are tested or fully vaccinated.

State officials also unveiled new guidance for gatherings, private events and meetings.

Beginning April 15, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed in the red tier, with the maximum size increasing to 50 people in the orange tier and 100 in the yellow tier.

In the purple tier, outdoor gatherings are limited to three households.

Though state officials strongly discourage indoor gatherings, such events are permitted with modifications in non-purple tiers.

Private events — such as receptions or conferences — are only allowed outdoors in the purple tier, with capacity limited to 25 people. If everyone is either tested or completely vaccinated, attendance can increase to as many as 100.

Here are the rules for those events in the other tiers:

  • Red tier: Limited to 50 people outdoors, increasing to 200 if all guests are tested or vaccinated. Indoor activities are allowed, with capacity limited to 100, if everyone is tested or shows proof of full vaccination.
  • Orange tier: Limited to 100 people outdoors. Capacity increases to 300, and indoor activities of up to 150 people are allowed, with full testing and vaccination.
  • Yellow tier: Up to 200 people outdoors, increasing to 400 if all guests are tested or fully vaccinated. Indoor activities would be allowed with capacity limited to 200 if everyone is tested or inoculated.

More than 30 percent of Californians are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 18 million vaccine doses have been administered statewide. ◆