By Andrew Morris
San Diego has finally moved into the orange tier of Gov. Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. County Chair Nathan Fletcher, who has consistently been on the side of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, stated, “San Diego is officially moving into the ‘orange tier,’ yet another significant step in our recovery from COVID-19.” The shift from red to orange comes due to the recent widespread availability of the Covid vaccine and a decrease in infection rates for the County.
Under the new tier, several restrictions are being reduced or removed, including a greater restaurant capacity of 50% or 200 people, the reopening of bars outdoors with specific constraints, and indoor services in wineries, breweries, and distilleries at a capacity half that of restaurants. In addition, museums, zoos, aquariums, and movie theaters are all open for indoor use at 50% capacity. Bowling alleys and amusement parks are open to 25% capacity, including indoor activities. For amusement parks, however, only in-state residents are eligible for admission. Finally, outdoor events with assigned seating, such as sports games and live concerts, are opening at 33% capacity for in-state residents.
In addition to shifting San Diego guidelines, Governor Newsom, who is fighting for his political life, announced his plan to completely cease Covid procedures in the state by mid-June, under the conditions that vaccines are widely available for anyone over 16 upon request, and that hospitalization rates stay low.
In a recent speech, Newsom addressed Covid numbers and milestones, commenting that more than 20 million vaccines have been distributed already, and if we stay the current course, all economic and personal restrictions due to Covid will be lifted. Yet a near future without masks is bleak, as Newsom later appended “We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated…”