It’s game on for California venues.
Event spots can reopen later this month, California officials said Friday — marking the return of live sports, music and theatre for the first time in more than a year.
The Los Angeles Lakers will welcome fans back to the Staples Center on April 15 — the day the restrictions are lifted — for the team’s game against the Boston Celtics.
“Obviously we don’t know exactly how many fans will be there yet, but just having some in there will bring us great energy,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “It’s one of everybody’s favorite things to do is go to Lakers games, and they haven’t been able to do that during this pandemic.”
Venues that hold 1,500 or less can operate at 10 percent capacity and 25 percent capacity if all attendees show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, state officials said. Venues that seat more than 1,500 can operate at 20 percent capacity.
Only counties in the highest COVID-restriction tier will be prohibited from opening large-event venues. Just three of the state’s 58 counties — San Joaquin, Merced and Inyo — still fall into that tier.
Not all attendees have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to get into the public venues.
Guests at private events, such as weddings, however, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours or proof of full vaccination.
“Allowing some of these activities and opportunities to vaccinated individuals is an incentive,” said Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “If they can return to some of their favorite activities because they’re vaccinated, then hopefully a few more people will go and get vaccinated.”