LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles County on Thursday will begin allowing attendance at indoor sporting events, theater performances, concerts and conferences, but the county will impose a stricter capacity limit at large event venues — such as Staples Center — than the state guidelines.
The state announced earlier this month that it will ease its COVID-19 restrictions, effective Thursday, allowing a return to indoor events, but individual counties are always permitted to impose stricter regulations than the state authorizes.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday the county will largely adopt the state rules, but it will impose a stricter capacity limit on indoor venues with 1,501 seats or more.
The state's guidelines for larger arenas allow for attendance of 10% of the venue's capacity, or 2,000 people, whichever is smaller. If all attendees are fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event, the state allows attendance to increase to 35% of capacity.
Los Angeles County, however, will limit attendance at larger venues to 25% of capacity when all guests are vaccinated or tested. That means all sporting events at Staples Center — home to the Lakers, Clippers and Kings — will be limited to 25% capacity instead of the 35% allowed by the state.
Staples Center will require all fans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to be admitted.
The state and county rules will restrict attendance at large and small arenas to in-state residents only, and attendees must have pre-purchased, digital admission tickets. Masks are required at all times, except when people are eating in designated dining areas, and six feet of physical distancing between groups must be maintained. All venues must have a weekly worker testing program, and all suites are limited to 25% capacity.
For smaller indoor venues that hold up to 1,500 people, capacity is limited to a maximum of 15%, or 200 people. The capacity can increase to 35% if everyone has proof of a negative COVID test or of being fully vaccinated.
For private events such as meetings, receptions or conferences, outdoor gatherings can be held with 100 people, or up to 300 if everyone is vaccinated/tested. Indoor activities are permitted only if all guests are vaccinated or tested, and attendance is limited to a maximum of 150 people.
For informal private social gatherings, the new rules will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people, with required masking and physical distancing. Indoor social gatherings are "strongly discouraged," but can be held with a maximum of 25 people or 25% of the venue's capacity, whichever is lower, with required masks and no eating or drinking unless everyone attending has been vaccinated.