California to reopen outdoor stadiums with COVID-19 capacity restrictions beginning April 1

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By , KCBS Radio

Fans will be back in California's outdoor stands and concert venues next month.

The state's ballparks, theme parks and stadiums are eligible to open for outdoor use with COVID-19 capacity restrictions beginning April 1.

The California Department of Public Health made the announcement Friday afternoon, updating the state’s Blueprint to a Safer Economy strategy so the facilities can reopen "with very reduced capacity, mandatory masking and other public health precautions" next month.

Earlier this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom teased the reopening of stadiums.

The move comes just in time for Major League Baseball's Opening Day.

"With case rates and hospitalizations significantly lower, the arrival of three highly effective vaccines and targeted efforts aimed at vaccinating the most vulnerable communities, California can begin gradually and safely bringing back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors and where consistent masking is possible," Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly said.

A sign requiring face coverings is posted near an entrance for Downtown Disney District on September 30, 2020 in Anaheim, California.
A sign requiring face coverings is posted near an entrance for Downtown Disney District on September 30, 2020 in Anaheim, California. Photo credit Mario Tama/Getty Images

Under the new strategy, outdoor sports events and live performances can resume outdoors with 100 or fewer people in attendance, with spectators limited to "regional visitors" if the host county is in the state's purple tier for reopening.

State officials said Friday that advanced reservations would be required and no concession or concourse sales are permitted.

If the county is in the red tier, capacity at such events will be limited to 20 percent.

Concession sales will be "primarily in-seat," with no sales taking place on the concourse. In the orange tier, capacity will be capped at 33 percent, increasing to 67 percent capacity in the yellow tier. "Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors in the red, orange and yellow tiers," the state’s guidelines mandated.

Operations at California’s amusement parks will take a slightly different approach.

They’re only eligible to reopen if the county is in the red tier on April 1.

With theme park attendees required to be California residents, maximum capacity is 15 percent in the red tier. It will increase to 25 percent in the orange tier and again to 35 percent in the yellow tier.

"Throughout the pandemic, California’s business community has been committed to protecting the health and safety of workers and customers - and that won’t change now," said Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Gov. Newsom and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. "We will continue to work together with our partners across all sectors of the economy, as we reopen safely, sustainably and equitably."