Indoor diners have returned to Venus Spirits in Santa Cruz and other restaurants.
(Crystal Birns / For Lookout Santa Cruz)
COVID 2022

Santa Cruz County moves to less-restrictive orange tier effective March 31

Santa Cruz County has met the criteria for the orange tier under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and new regulations will take effect Wednesday.

Santa Cruz County has met the criteria to move to the orange tier of COVID-19 restrictions, the next set of more relaxed guidelines as outlined by California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The new regulations will take effect on Wednesday.

Some capacity expansions under the orange tier:

  • Retail establishments may now operate at full capacity.
  • Restaurants can expand indoor seating capacity to 50% or 200 people (whichever is fewer).
  • Movie theaters can expand capacity to 50%.
  • Gyms can expand to 25% capacity and open up indoor pools.
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries may resume outdoor operations — and wineries may resume indoor operations at 25% capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer).

In a statement announcing the move, the county health agency cautioned that “while transmission rates locally look positive and the County remains a leader in per capita vaccinations within the state, coronavirus cases are increasing globally, and the B.1.1.7 variant has recently been found within Santa Cruz County. Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents are advised to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing while in public.”

Here’s a deeper look at what will be allowed in Santa Cruz County under the orange tier:

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