Santa Barbara County to enter less restrictive Red Tier on Wednesday

Santa Barbara County to enter less restrictive Red Tier on Wednesday

By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACPHealth Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health

The County of Santa Barbara has met the threshold of <10 daily new cases (per 100k) for 2 consecutive weeks and will be assigned the less restrictive Red Tier on Tuesday, March 16 effective Wednesday, March 17 at 8 a.m.

The action authorizes the County of Santa Barbara to allow more indoor business operations, according to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  The Santa Barbara County Health Officer urges businesses, entities, and residents to continue exercising caution even as certain restrictions are lifted by the State.

Here are the changes for Santa Barbara County businesses and gatherings effective March 17, 2021 in the Red Tier:

Outdoor and indoor gatherings are limited to persons from no more than three households. Indoor gatherings strongly discouraged but are allowed with face coverings and at least six-feet distance from people from other households.

May operate indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Retail, Grocery & Shopping
Retail stores, shopping malls and swap meets may operate with a maximum of 50% capacity.  Common areas will remain closed.  Food courts are open at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Secondary schools with safety plans in place will be permitted to open for in person education.

Worship services, weddings, funerals & protests
Worship services, cultural ceremonies, weddings and funerals are permitted indoors with modifications at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.  Face coverings are required, even when singing, chanting or protesting.  Receptions, parties or celebrations of life are not permitted.

Fitness Centers, Gyms & Dance Studios
Fitness centers, gyms and dance studios, including those in hotels and lodging rentals, may operate indoors with modifications at 10% capacity.  Rock climbing walls are allowed.  Spa facilities, saunas, steam rooms, indoor pools remain closed.

Museums, Zoos & Aquariums
Museums, zoos and aquariums may open indoors at a 25% capacity.

Movie Theatres
Movie theatres may open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer

Open with indoor capacity limited to 25%-50%

Cardrooms and Satellite Wagering
Outdoor only with modifications

Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries
Outdoor only with modifications, per Reservation, 90-minute time limit, seating only, limited hours until 8 PM

Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 

Personal Care Services
Personal care services may open indoors with modifications.

Hotels and Lodging
Open with modifications, with indoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms remaining closed.

Amusement Parks
Starting April 1, may open with modifications: Max 15%, small groups of maximal 10 persons or 3 household groups with no intergroup mixing, indoor capacity max 15% with time restrictions, no indoor dining, weekly worker testing program, in-state visitors only, online ticket purchase only

Outdoor Live Events with assigned Seats and controlled mixing (Sports and live performances)
As of April 1, max 20% includes suites with 25% occupancy per suite and suites no more than 3 households, weekly worker testing program, in-state visitors only, advanced reservations only, primarily in-seat concession (no concourse sales)

Family Entertainment Centers
Mini golf, Kart Racing, Batting Cages: outdoor only with modifications.

For a complete look at what the State allows in the Red Tier, check out the State COVID-19 reopening framework, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

For more information about local public health orders, guidance, and vaccine distribution in Santa Barbara County, please visit: