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California will allow closed gatherings as virus cases fall

SACRAMENTO, California. (AP) – For the first time in more than a year, California opened the way for people to perform in concerts, theatrical performances and NBA games on Friday, as the number of people who tested positive for coronavirus in the state was close to a record low.

Government officials will not require testing or vaccination evidence for some of these events, but they do limit the number of people allowed to attend. Testing իրադարձ Events requiring vaccinations are allowed to have more paying clients than those who do not. Only live people living in California can attend these live performances.

The rules are different for private indoor gatherings, including weddings, meetings or conferences. They are only allowed if all guests have tested negative for coronavirus at least 72 hours in advance or show evidence of complete vaccination. The amendments do not mention the need to prove vaccine proof և Business owners և operators have taken great responsibility.

“Enabling some of these vaccine-enabled activities is an incentive,” said DD Myers, director of the governor’s business and economic development office. “If they can return to their preferred activities because they are vaccinated, I hope a few more people will go and get vaccinated.”

The new rules seem to reject California’s vaccine testing system, which is hotly debated across the country. New York has launched a digital passport that residents can show for vaccine proof or a COVID-19 negative test, which is accepted at major entertainment venues. But Florida Gov. Ron Desantis on Friday issued an executive order banning businesses from requiring so-called “vaccine passports.”

The Biden administration has said the federal government will not offer a national vaccine passport program, leaving it to the private sector. But the federal government is developing regulations on how and when those passports can be used.

California Public Health Dr. Thomas Aragon said Friday that the state would follow the federal government’s example, but said vaccinations were not mandatory for services.

The new California rules come as the state administers nearly 19 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state of about 40 million. Only people over the age of 50 are eligible for the vaccine, and on April 15, people over the age of 16 are eligible.

Asking for vaccine proof calls into question the issue of confidentiality and fairness, as not everyone will be able to get the vaccine and others will not want their medical information stored in a cleaning room. This was stated by Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biographical Statistics, University of California-San Francisco.

He noted that similar requirements in other countries have prompted people to get vaccinated, but California’s most notable problem is that “we simply did not get enough vaccines in the population,” he said. Waves in some parts of the country also suggest that it is not a low-risk time to lift restrictions, he said.

The new rules will continue to maintain California’s level system, in which industries can reopen depending on how prevalent the virus is in each region.

Closed concerts, sports events, theatrical performances are not allowed under the maximum purple restrictions. At the red level, up to 1,500 seats can be operated by 10%, up to 25% if all guests present evidence of vaccination or a negative test. Locations of 1501 or more people may operate at 20% red power level, but must show evidence of vaccination or a negative test. Capacity increases to the extent that the virus is less common.

Locations can also choose to divide people based on their vaccination status. Those who are fully vaccinated can sit shoulder to shoulder, but they still have to wear a mask, Aragon said.

San Francisco nightlife activist Ben Bleman, president of the California Association of Music and Culture, says the venues need full capacity to make money, but members will take the change, albeit with some horror.

“On the one hand, you shake the joy of reopening,” he said, adding that “there is a fear that something will go wrong.”

Indoor private events, including weddings and concerts, are not permitted at the purple level. At the red level, they are limited to 100 people; և all guests must prove either a negative test or be fully vaccinated. More people can attend less restrictive events at such events.

Most of California’s 58 states are in the red, but large population centers like San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Los Angeles are in the less restrictive orange range. Just two counties with the lowest yellow level.

The limits of these capabilities for private gatherings are unlikely to help large convention centers that rely on closed events that attract thousands of people.

Ray Rowan, director of sales at the Fresno Convention’s entertainment center, says the updates are a step in the right direction, but officials need guidance on how to hold large-scale meetings and events, such as regular ones.

Governor Gavin Newsom visited the San Diego immunization website on Friday to highlight California’s immunization efforts. Newsom, 53, was vaccinated on Thursday, the first day California allowed anyone 50 or older to be photographed.

“We are not going to achieve herd immunity, we will not return to that normal state until more people are vaccinated,” Newsom said.

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Har reported from San Francisco.

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This story has been corrected to show that private closed-door gatherings at the red level are limited to 100 people instead of 50, and to clarify that California will not require a vaccine test or proof for many, but not all, events.

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