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San Diego County: Moving to Red Tier


Last updated 3/18/2021 at 10:39am

Progress is being made – San Diego County is headed in the right direction toward normalcy. It was announced that San Diego County is likely to move into the red tier starting Wednesday March 17. In the red tier (Tier 2), restrictions will be loosened, and more businesses can reopen.

This will allow for indoor dining, movie theaters, museums, gyms and more to open at a limited capacity.

This announcement comes after the state stated that it had administered more than two million vaccine doses to those in the vulnerable, low income ZIP codes, which allows counties like San Diego to reopen more businesses and other activities could take place.

Counties previously could move from the most restrictive tier (purple) to the lower tiers like red based on metrics, including the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per day over a period of several weeks. The threshold for entering the red tier will move from seven cases per 100,000 residents to 10.

The color-coded system is made up of four tiers that was implemented back in August of last year.

The shift to the red tier in the state’s reopening blueprint means:

- Restaurants indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)

- All retail indoors (max 50% capacity)

- Shopping centers indoors (max 50% capacity, closed common areas)

- Museums, zoos, and aquariums indoors (max 25% capacity)

- Nail Salons: Can open indoors with modifications

- Places of worship indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)

- Movie theaters indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)

- Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity)

- The move into the red tier also means that when outdoor spectator sports and live events can resume again in April 1, events will have a 20% max capacity, as opposed to a limit of 100 as it would be in the purple tier.

Additionally, schools that previously needed waivers to reopen in-person instruction will no longer need to apply, however, modifications will still need to be met.

The state also announced new rules for bars and breweries, which have been closed if they do not serve food. However, beginning March 13, breweries and distilleries can open outside in the purple and red tiers. Bars that do not serve food have been excluded from this new modification, and are not able to open until the orange tier (Tier 3).

San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond stated on his social media platforms, “It never made sense for breweries to be closed, while wineries were allowed to be open. Finally, common-sense prevails.”

Supervisor Desmond has been a strong supporter in reopening businesses and has continued to say that the state’s reopening blueprint is flawed.

Most of the state’s 58 counties have begun loosening restrictions, and normalcy is on its way.

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