Los Angeles was among 13 California counties approved for less restrictive tiers within California’s reopening framework on Tuesday. The regions have a combined population of more than 17 million residents. Loosening of regulations may take effect as soon as Wednesday or as late as next week, depending on decisions by local health officials, who can be more strict than state health officers. Four other counties that were positioned for a possible move missed out.
All five purple-tier counties that were eligible to move — Fresno, Glenn, Kings, Madera and Yuba counties — promoted into the red tier, allowing a number of indoor business openings including restaurant dining rooms, gyms and movie theaters.
Eight other counties advanced from red to orange: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Los Angeles, Modoc, Orange, Santa Cruz and Tuolumne. That move will loosen capacity limits from red-tier restriction levels and also allows a few more types of indoor entertainment businesses to open.
The Los Angeles County Public Health department confirmed on March 12 that it was moving into the Red tier. That meant movie theaters could open indoors at 25% capacity “with reserved seating only where each group is seated with at least 6 feet of distance in all directions between any other groups.”
The county released its own operating guidelines for restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, outdoor live events and theme park reopenings allowing the reopenings to begin on March 15. A county must remain in a new tier for 3 weeks before moving on. Thus, it is unclear whether L.A. officials will allow businesses to move into the Orange on Wednesday — three weeks after the state announced the move — or on Monday — three weeks after the County allowed the move.
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