State Officials: ‘Play Ball!’

Stadiums, theme parks, and even live concerts are given the go-ahead for April, so long as certain precautions are in place.

Roller Coasters and baseball games seem like the stuff of another era. But they could be open for you to go see and experience in person sooner than you think. 

On Friday, state health officials announced that outdoor stadiums, amusement parks, and outdoor live shows will be allowed to resume in April, at limited capacity.

“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,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said in a statement, adding, “Even with these changes, California retains some of the most robust public health protocols in the country.” (Especially when governors in states like Texas and Mississippi are moving to end all COVID-related restrictions.)

The new regulations will allow counties in purple tier to host 100 fans or fewer at outdoor games and events. Red tier counties like San Francisco can host up to 20 percent capacity in their stadiums, and will allow only in-seat concessions. Capacity limits will increase to 33 percent in orange tier and 67 percent in yellow tier. The rules presumably apply to outdoor concert venues like Shoreline Amphitheater and the Greek Theater in Berkeley, although specific guidelines for concerts were not included. 

Amusement parks like California’s Great America in Santa Clara will be allowed to reopen in red tier counties at 15 percent capacity. Those limits will increase to 25 percent in orange tier and 35 percent in yellow tier. All theme park visitors must be from in-state. 

Under the previous rules, large amusement parks were not allowed to open until the host county had reached yellow tier. 

The Giants said in a statement that they are “hopeful” fans will be able to return for their home opener at Oracle Park on April 9, and that they are currently working to finalize arrangements with local public health officials. The A’s are also making plans to welcome back fans once Alameda County reaches red tier. 

Face coverings will be required at all times during baseball games, and tailgating will not be permitted.

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