Reopening California

California Eases Restrictions in Red Tier for Ballparks, Theme Parks

NBC Universal, Inc. Baseball fans are welcome back to the ballpark, just in time for Bay Area home openers and the April 1 openings also include amusement parks and concert venues. Jean Elle and Sergio Quintana report.

California's blueprint for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic was amended Friday, easing restrictions for counties in the red tier effective April 1, according to state health officials.

The new guidelines announced by Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly now permit more activities in the red tier, including allowing fans at baseball stadiums up to 20% capacity and visitors to amusement parks at up to 15% capacity.

"It’s exciting, as long as we can do it safely," said Eric and Leslie Wall of San Francisco. "You know, we’re old. But we feel fortunate that we’ve been able to get vaccinated."

The Walls got their vaccines Monday, so they feel safe to attend, but with all the rules. Among them: attendees will have to social distance, face coverings are still requiried.

California announced baseball fans can be in the stands for the first pitch on Opening Day -- news many have been waiting a year to hear. Lili Tan reports.

Both the A’s and Giants released statements saying they are encouraged by the news, and are excited to have fans on hand for their home openers – April 1 for the A’s and April 9 for the Giants.

The new rules also allow modified outdoor concerts.

Spots like the Hearst Theater in Berkeley already have some events scheduled for May, postponed concerts from last year.

"It sounds like a good idea," said Berkeley resident David Snyder. "People have been confined, locked down for a year now."

A representative with California’s Great America in Santa Clara released a statement Friday saying the park is "excited by the positive news coming out of the California Governor’s office today regarding the reopening of theme parks in the State. We’re looking forward to seeing the specific details and guidelines in the coming weeks that will help inform our plans for reopening."

Great America had not yet released any dates or plans for reopening.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, which said it has been hosting visitors at its Marine World Experience since July, released a statement saying: "Our team members are eager to welcome guests back to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom with a full complement of our world-class coasters, rides, and animals in a safe, outdoor environment. An official opening date will be posted on our website and social channels in the near future."

No indoor dining will be allowed at the theme parks, and there will be limited access to indoor rides. Only visitors from California will be allowed to enter the parks.

The new guidelines will not take effect until April 1, Ghaly said.