Indoor bars, expanded theme park capacity: Orange County cleared to move into yellow reopening tier

Local news

Orange County on Tuesday qualified to move into California’s least restrictive reopening stage, allowing bars to open indoors and many other businesses to see wider reopenings.

The move into the yellow tier comes after the region saw its average coronavirus case rate hold below 2 cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks, while its test positivity rate kept below 2% and the health-equity positivity below 2.2%.

The state has been using the three metrics to move counties along four color-coded reopening tiers.

Also cleared to move to the yellow tier Tuesday are Amador, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Amid continued progress after record-high infection numbers, California now has no counties in the most stringent purple tier, and 13 counties in the yellow tier, including Los Angeles County.

Changes that come with a move to the yellow tier go into effect Wednesday.

According to the state’s reopening blueprint, here’s what is changing:

  • Amusement parks like Disneyland can increase capacity from 25% to 35%, but they’ll still have to keep capacity at indoors spaces at 25%.
  • All bars can open indoors at 25% capacity, or 100 people, whichever is fewer. The venues do have the option to increase capacity if all guests show a negative coronavirus test or proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Breweries can increase maximum capacity to 50%, or 200 people if that would be fewer people.
  • Cardrooms can increase capacity from 25% to 50%.
  • Bowling alleys can increase capacity to 50% instead of 25%, but they can also let more people in if they ask for a coronavirus test or vaccine record.
  • Concert and other live event venues can increase capacity to 67% outdoors. For venues with seats for up to 1,500 guests, indoor capacity must be limited to 25%, or 50% with proof of vaccination or a negative test. For larger venues, indoor capacity is limited to 10%, or 50% with the vaccinations and tests verified.
  • Family entertainment centers can open indoors or outdoors with modifications at 50% capacity.
  • Gatherings are allowed with a maximum 100 people outdoors in the yellow tier. Indoor gatherings are still discouraged, but are allowed at 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can increase capacity from 25% to 50%, and open their saunas, spas and steam rooms.
  • Indoor playgrounds can open at 50% capacity.
  • Water parks can increase outdoor capacity to 40% and indoor capacity to 25%.

Festivals still aren’t allowed and nightclubs have to stay closed in the yellow tier.

Gov. Gavin Newsom expects California’s economy to fully reopen on June 15, letting go of the four-tier blueprint that has guided the activities residents were permitted to do for months.

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