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California Set To Open Ballparks, Arenas And Theme Parks In April

Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., September 2020. California announced theme parks, sports arenas and stadiums will be allowed to open on April 1 if they meet health requirements at the county level.
Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., September 2020. California announced theme parks, sports arenas and stadiums will be allowed to open on April 1 if they meet health requirements at the county level.

The state of California updated its plans Friday to allow outdoor events at stadiums, ballparks and theme parks to begin to reopen April 1.

Sports facilities and amusement parks will reopen at reduced capacity, contingent on county-level infection rates. The California Department of Public Health released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy guidelines last August, which has dictated the opening and closing of businesses at the county level ever since.

For counties in the state's most restrictive Purple Tier, outdoor sports and live performances will be limited to 100 people or less and attendees must live in the region. Reservations will be required and concessions sales won't be available, a CDPH statement said. Attendance is capped at 20% in the Red Tier and 33% in the Orange, both of which can welcome in-state visitors.

A similar standard will be applied to amusement parks. Venues in the Red Tier can reopen at 15% capacity, but more in-state guests will be allowed to visit as infection rates drop, the CDPH said. Masks will still be required for attendees.

"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 the California Health and Human Services Agency Mark Ghaly said. "Even with these changes, California retains some of the most robust public health protocols in the country."

As of now, 87% of Californians, about 35 million people, fall within the state's Purple Tier, as do many of the state's top amusement parks. Disneyland Resort and California Adventure, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sea World and Universal Studios Hollywood are all located in Southern California Purple Tier counties.

However, cases in Los Angeles County, the most populous area in the state, have been on a downward trend since peaking in early January. The county could enter the Red Tier next week, CDPH said, but it has to remain there for two weeks before restrictions are eased.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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