California has cleared the way for fans to attend opening baseball games and for tourists to return to Disneyland, nearly a year after coronavirus restrictions closed major entertainment venues.
On Friday, the state eased guidelines for opening outdoors, as the fall in the fall and winter appears to be coming to an end, with the rate of Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths falling sharply and the vaccination rate rising.
The new public health rules would allow live concerts at stadiums and sports arenas to reopen with limited attendance from 1
The move followed key weeks, with California increasing vaccinations for the poorest neighborhoods, counties opening more businesses, and Gov. Gavin Newsum taking a measure to encourage schools that have limited students to online tuition to reopen classrooms this month.
“The permanent opening is in line with the data. As the number of cases decreases, we want to go back to work and school, ”said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a clinical professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. “In particular, outdoor activities have always been low risk. Opening up these sites makes sense. ”
Thousands of workers have been laid off from Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and other major locations. Ten thousand have lost their jobs at Disneyland alone and related attractions in Orange County, not to mention the effect of neighboring restaurants and hotels.
Andrea Zinder, president of the local United Food and Merchant Union, which represents Disney workers, said employees were “excited to return to work and provide Californians with a little more magic in their lives.”
Most major theme parks are in Southern California, which is still in the purple category. However, the counties of Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego expected to reopen in the next few weeks as Covid-19 numbers fell.
Only 16 of the 58 counties are in the red layer, and two small counties are in the orange layer. No one is still in the yellow level, the lowest and least restrictive. Theme parks in the red layer will be limited to 15% capacity. Outdoor sports will be limited to 100 people in the purple layer, but will increase to 67% in the yellow layer.
The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Auckland As all announced, will have fans in the stands on the opening day on April 1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are starting their seasons on the road and say they will announce their plans later.
Teams and event organizers can only sell tickets at the regional level in the purple level. At other levels, teams and organizers can sell tickets to anyone living in California. In the purple level no discounts will be allowed, while in other sales concessions will be offered only in places.
The faster pace of opening is tied to a new plan to vaccinate California’s most vulnerable residents. Once 2 million people in 400 zip codes in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods receive at least one dose of the vaccine, it will be easier for counties to get out of the country’s most restrictive level. Once 4 million people in these neighborhoods are vaccinated, the counties will be able to open up even more.
A year ago, Newsom imposed a state order to stay at home, which restricts travel, closes businesses and forces millions of people into unemployment. California is still among the toughest restrictions in any country and continues to discourage visitors outside the country.
The state hopes to fully open the inoculation of enough of its 40 million inhabitants to stop widespread infections. More than 10 million doses were given just three months after the first shot, the state Department of Public Health said. Just over 3 million people are fully vaccinated, or about 10% of the population aged 16 and over.
There are signs of hope. This week, the seven-day average percentage of positive test results dropped this week to 2.2%, a record low. Although there is growing pressure to open up the economy, health officials said changes to the guidelines are more cautious and measured than a wholesale approach.
“We will … keep our feet on the brake, not the petrol, our eyes on the road, our hands on the steering wheel, and we will move based on data and science,” said Dr. Mark Galli, secretary of the state health agency. and humanitarian services.