City to allow private gatherings of up to 50 people, indoor live events

Public outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people and indoor live events with limited capacity will be allowed in Long Beach as of midnight Friday, officials announced today.

The announcement comes after Los Angeles County announced it would allow increased attendance at events as well, though the county placed tighter limits on large events at venues such as the Staples Center.

Long Beach and the county are in the “orange” tier of the state’s color-coded system of COVID-19 restrictions, which is the second-least restrictive tier. That will become moot, however, on June 15, when the governor will allow most businesses to resume as normal—provided case rates continue to decline across the state.

In Long Beach, the seven-day positivity rate was 1.1% on Thursday, far below the close to 18% positivity rate the city saw in January.

In a statement Friday, the city announced it will allow indoor events with the following rules:

  • All guests must be from California
  • There is a weekly worker testing program in place
  • Tickets are sold digitally and ahead of time, and food and drinks are consumed in pre-designated areas with 6-foot distancing.
  • Capacity is limited to 15% or 200 people, whichever is fewer, for venues with a capacity of up to 1,500. Venues with a capacity of 1,500 or more can host up to 10% capacity or 2,000, whichever is fewer.
  • Venues can host guests up to 35% of capacity if they provide a negative COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours prior to the event or proof of full vaccination. The county, however, is only allowing 25% capacity at large venues.
  • All attendees must wear face coverings unless actively eating or drinking and keep a distance of at least 6 feet.

Ticketed private events are also allowed to resume, as long as there is a defined guest list or tickets are sold ahead of time, and seating is assigned. A maximum of 100 attendees are allowed, a number that can be increased to 300 if guests show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination.

Informal gatherings with friends and family are now allowed with up to 50 people when held outdoors, and 25% capacity or 25 people indoors, whichever is fewer. However, the city emphasized that indoor gatherings remain “strongly discouraged.”

Face coverings are required, with exceptions for fully vaccinated persons, who can spend time with other vaccinated people without masks, even indoors, according to guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control.

Businesses already allowed to operate indoors, such as gyms, wineries and breweries, may increase their capacity up to a maximum of 50% of capacity if all participants are either fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.