LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Changes to the Los Angeles County public health order go into effect Thursday, allowing attendance for indoor sporting events, theater performances, concerts, and conferences.
However, Los Angeles County's guidelines will be stricter than those released by the state earlier this month.
Los Angeles County is currently in the state's orange tier, indicating moderate spread of COVID-19, which under California's rules allow the county to open live events or performances to 15%, or 200 people, of capacity for venues that can serve up to 1,500 people. Venues with a capacity of 1,500 can also increase their capacity to 35% if all guests are tested or vaccinated.
For venues holding more than 1,500 people, the state's capacity limits are 10%, or 2,000 people, or whichever is fewer, but the limit can increase to 25% if all guests are tested or vaccinated.
Los Angeles County's guidelines additionally require that live events and performance be open only to in-state visitors who must pre-purchase tickets. Live event venues in Los Angeles County to offer weekly worker testing programs.
Some venues are adding their own guidelines. Staples Center, which is welcoming fans back Thursday when the Lakers play the Celtics, is requiring all ticketed guests to present photo ID, and either proof of full vaccination or verification of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event date, banning bags and purses of any size, and is asking guests to leave their cash at home and order food and drinks via the arena's QR codes. Additionally, food and drinks can only be eaten in designated eating areas.
Private meetings like receptions and conferences can also resume Thursday. Outdoor gatherings are limited 100 people, with capacity allowed to increase to 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. Indoor events capped at 150 people may also resume if all guests are tested or vaccinated. However, guests must pre-purchase tickets, and events must have a defined guest list and assigned seating, according to state guidelines. Los Angeles County guidelines also require that tables be limited to six people from a maximum of three households – unless all guests at the table are vaccinated. The new guidelines also don't allow intermingling of multiple private events.
Public health officials still discourage indoor private gatherings, but they will be permitted. In the Orange tier, the county's public health order allows indoor gatherings of 25 people, or a 25% capacity limit if one exists, which is stricter than the state's allowance of up to 50 people. The guidelines also say people should not be eating or drinking at a private, indoor gathering unless most of the households in attendance are fully vaccinated, or does not have any high-risk individuals.
In every indoor gathering scenario, face masks are still mandated, and a physical distance of six feet is required at indoor live events, performances, conferences, and meetings.
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