SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) – California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances and other private gatherings starting April 15 as the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus nears a record low.
The decision is a sharp turnaround from the slow pace California has taken on lifting restrictions, and comes as the governor urges people to continue being vigilant about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.READ MORE: Detectives: Rental Fraud Suspect Posted Turlock Properties On Facebook Marketplace, Scammed People Out Of $2,000
To attend gatherings, people will have to either be tested or show proof of full vaccination. California has administered nearly 19 million doses and nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state with nearly 40 million residents. But only people 50 and over are eligible statewide to get the vaccine now. Adults 16 and older won’t be eligible until April 15.
Under the new rules, how many people can attend events 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.
The purple tier is most restrictive. Indoor concerts and theater performances aren’t allowed in this tier. They are allowed in the red tier, but at 10% capacity for venues of up to 1,500 people and 20% capacity for venues with capacity greater than that. Capacity limits increase in the lower tiers.
Private events, including receptions or conferences, are allowed only outdoors in the purple tier and will be limited to 25 people. They’re allowed indoors in the red tier, but limited to 50 people. However, that capacity increases to 200 people if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination.READ MORE: California-Grown Cannabis To Be Judged At Next State Fair
“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,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. “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.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared at a San Diego vaccination site Friday to highlight inoculation efforts in the country’s most populous state. The previous day Newsom, a Democrat, received a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as he became eligible with other people in their 50s and early 60s to make an appointment.
Newsom said he couldn’t recall which arm was poked as neither hurt.
“I took the vaccine 24 hours ago. Honestly, slept like a baby, feel great,” he said. “If you are 50 or older please go take the time to prepare to get a vaccine, we’re not going to get to herd immunity, we’re not going to get back to that semblance of normalcy unless we get more people vaccinated.”
Despite Friday’s loosening of restrictions, some concerts that had been on hold have now been canceled. Black Oak Casino announced on Friday that its concert series – which would have brought Train and Ice Cube, among other artists – has been canceled and won’t be rescheduled.MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed In Parking Lot Along Florin Road
Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.