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Home / US / Indoor concerts, conferences and sports events will be held in California starting April 15th

Indoor concerts, conferences and sports events will be held in California starting April 15th



California officials announced on Friday that from April 15th, chamber concerts, conferences, seated live events, sports games and other private gatherings can resume in California. The state has also greatly relaxed restrictions on outdoor gatherings, as California’s COVID-19 test positive rate is close to the lowest in history.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Dee Dee Myers, the state’s top economic adviser, said at a press conference to release the new guidelines.

She said that as officials work to retire California’s complex, color-coded reopening plan, more things will happen: “You will start to see a pattern. We will reduce restrictions.”

According to the distribution of the virus in each county, the state̵

7;s reopening blueprint is divided into four levels (purple, red, orange, and yellow), from the highest limit to the lowest limit. According to the new regulations, how many people can participate in activities will depend on the actual level of restrictions in these places.

The purple level still does not allow indoor concerts, performances and parties. However, for places with a maximum of 1,500 people, they may recover to the red level at 10% capacity, and for places with larger capacity, they may recover at 20% capacity. The capacity limit increases as the county level moves to a lower level.

According to the state public health officer, Dr. Tomás Aragón, if the venue divides people into sections, people in the “fully vaccinated” section can sit side by side, but they must still wear masks.

Aragón said: “This will actually be a way to allow the site to reach its capacity limit.”

He said that the state will not supervise the verification of vaccination and venues will have to rely on self-identification by customers.

“We expect that these solutions will be digital in the future,” Aragón pointed out that e-vaccine passport services will be provided soon. But he added that he expects individuals to only need to show verification once.

Under the new guidance, the red layer allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, the orange layer has increased the number of people to 50, and the yellow layer has increased the number of people to 100.

The new regulations are a major shift in California’s slow pace in removing restrictions, and the governor urges people to remain vigilant to prevent wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Even as new cases continue to increase in parts of the country, Myers still said the state is working to phase out its color coding system to reopen it.

Aragón said that state officials are still paying close attention to the epidemiology of the pandemic and rely on strict vaccination and testing procedures to safely reopen.

“We are monitoring everything carefully. We are monitoring variants,” he said. “Currently, even if we have some variables that need attention in California, their proportion is small, and the overall number is still high.”

The private event guidelines gave thousands of small business owners a sigh of relief. They stopped selling during the pandemic. These big meetings ended conventions and gatherings that helped promote the economic development of the Bay Area.

A study by the California Private Event Association shows that California’s rules are now comparable to those of other states, which allow at least 50 people to participate in activities, while most states allow 100 to 150 people to be outdoors.

Since last fall, the industry organization with 4,800 business members has been lobbying for guidance and has been eagerly awaiting these rules.

Amy Ulkutekin, president of the California Private Events Association, said: “The recently announced restrictions are economically viable for our industry and will allow us to resume work soon.”

The guide is a key step in San Francisco’s tourism industry, which was the city’s largest economic driver before the pandemic and was heavily dependent on large conferences in the Moscone Center. Last year its expenditures were reduced by 8 billion U.S. dollars compared to 2019, because the use of the convention has been banned from March until now.

David Lewin, general manager of the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, said the lack of convention is shocking. Before the pandemic, the 668-room hotel had 402 employees; now it has 28 employees.

It closed for about half of the time in 2020, and lost approximately $1 million per month of closure.

Lewin expects this year’s activity demand will rebound.

He said: “I think the need for people to get together is suppressed.”

Urkotkin said that during the pandemic, because there were no incidents, hundreds of small businesses in the Bay Area have been permanently closed, and thousands of businesses have closed in the state.

In addition to event planners, they also include photographers, catering companies, musicians, DJs, bakers, makeup artists and transportation workers. The organization said that before the pandemic, California’s private event industry included 93,000 small businesses and 3 million jobs.

“The seasons are much longer than we expected,” said Stan Vail, owner of All Seasons Catering. “The entire food industry has been seriously injured.”

In the absence of incidents, his company’s seven full-time employees and about 50 part-time employees were unemployed. Weir said the company expects to bring five people back to the office part-time in accordance with the guidelines, but the kitchen is still closed.

The “All Season” program was helped by a $100,000 “Salary Protection Program” loan and cooked for a nearby university, but it had much less business than providing private events.

Weir said that fewer than 100 people at an event will result in higher costs, and small events with fewer than 25 people or fewer will hardly bring financial sustainability to catering companies.

Compared with all other industries, the lack of guiding principles so far has severely damaged the development of the event business, said Chelsea Bowman Warnell, head of “All Season” business development and local promotion.

She said: “Except for private live performances, everyone seems to be back to work.”

Restaurants, outdoor concerts, movie theaters, and even dog walkers have health guidance before private events.

Bowman Wonnell also booked weddings and could only organize small weddings in the past year, which was not profitable. But there are signs of hope. In the past two weeks before the guide was released, she conducted dozens of queries.

She said: “This will bring light to all of us.” “I think those who are still around, creative and persistent will flourish. This will be a huge revival.”

Aidin Vaziri and Roland Li are contributors to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: avaziri@sfchronicle.com roland.li@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @musicsf @rolandlisf




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