SACRAMENTO (CBSLA/AP) — California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances and other private gatherings later this month, but attendees will be required to be tested or show proof of vaccination, officials said Friday.
The new state guidelines will take effect starting April 15.READ MORE: California Focusing On Urgent Projects As Wildfire Season Looms
The California Department of Public Health announced the changes on Friday as the rate of people testing positive for the virus nears a record low.
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. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the new rules are in part a result of vaccinations.
“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,” said Ghaly. “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.”READ MORE: Future Of Hollywood's Cinerama Dome Still In Question
Initially the testing verification will be provided by individuals, but officials say the technology is just around the corner.
“So when they come to the park, they’ll have to bring their vaccination card or a test result of negative within 72 hours before the event starts, ” said Tomas Aragon with the California Dept of Public Health. “We anticipate in the future, these solutions will be digital. Currently it’s going to be self-verification but in the future we imagine companies are already developing digital solutions.”
The new rules are subject to the approval of local health authorities as each county can choose to impose stricter regulations than the state allows.
This week, Southern California fans were allowed back to baseball stadiums, racetracks, and other sporting events and restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues reopened after counties either moved or announced moves into the red coronavirus reopening tier.MORE NEWS: Paul Flores, Father Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart
(Copyright 2021 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)