California’s New Reopening Plan
California’s New Reopening Plan

On August 31, 2020, California introduced a statewide blueprint for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic designed to provide clear guidance and timelines for which industries may safely open. 

The new system is color-coded and has four tiers, with Tier 1 being the highest risk of community disease transmission and Tier 4 the lowest risk. The four tiers are based on two factors: (1) the county’s positivity rate; and (2) the daily new cases for each 100,000 residents.

The tiers are outlined below:

  • Tier 1 (purple/widespread): higher than 8% testing positivity rate; more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 county residents
  • Tier 2 (red/substantial): 5-8% testing positivity rate; 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 county residents
  • Tier 3 (orange/moderate): 2-4.9% positivity rate; 1 to 3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 county residents
  • Tier 4 (yellow/minimal): less than 2% positivity; fewer than 1 daily new case per 100,000 county residents


Notably, even Tier 4 contains restrictions for industries, with most businesses limited to opening at a 50% capacity.  Governor Gavin Newsom has stated that there is not yet a chance of going back to the way things were before the pandemic, and at least some safety precautions will be necessary for every stage of reopening.

The state has released a Blueprint for a Safer Economy search tool, which allows users to search for the status of activities in their county. This website is being updated on a weekly basis based on statistics from each county’s public health department.

The majority of California counties, including Los Angeles County, Orange County and Ventura County, are currently at a Tier 1 risk level. Under the Tier 1 restrictions, restaurants are open for outdoor dining only, retail is open indoors at a maximum 25% capacity, and hair salons may open with limited 25% capacity.

Under the Blueprint, restaurants in the lowest risk Tier 3 and 4 counties may open for indoor dining at 50% capacity.  Restaurants in Tier 2 counties may open for indoor dining at 25% capacity.

All business owners are responsible for following public health guidance, which includes performing a detailed risk assessment and worksite-specific protection plan, training employees, and establishing universal face covering guidelines.


Recent Posts




Jump to PageX

ECJ uses cookies to enhance your experience on our website, to better understand how our website is used and to help provide security. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. For more information see our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.