Red Tier FAQ

This guidance is effective October 2, 2020 at 5 p.m. per Health Officer Order 2020-12.11


What can open and what must stay closed in the RED TIER?

Indoor with Modifications

  • Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs, and distilleries that provide sit-down, dine-in meals must follow the CDPH dine-in restaurant guidance, with indoor dining occupancy limited to 25% capacity of 100 people, whichever is less. No more than ten (10) people may be together at one table or tables pushed together as one table.  These establishments should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.
    • Venues that are currently authorized to provide off sale beer, wine, and spirits to be consumed off premises and do not offer sit-down, dine-in meals must follow CDPH guidance for retail operations and are limited to 50% indoor capacity for retail operations only.
  • Cultural ceremonies, and places of worship, including wedding ceremonies and funerals – 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Receptions and parties are not permitted.
  • Dine-in restaurants – 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, no more than 10 people at one table or tables pushed together to make one table.
  • Fitness Centers, Gyms, and Dance Studios (including those at hotels, lodging, and short-term lodging rentals) – 10% capacity
  • Grocery Stores with indoor occupancy limited to 50% capacity
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Movie theaters – 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Personal Care Services:
    • Esthetic and skin care services
    • Electrology services
    • Nail services
    • Body art professionals, tattoo parlors, and piercing shops
    • Massage services (in non-healthcare settings)
  • Places of Worship:

    25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer

    • discontinue indoor singing and chanting activities
    • At a minimum, indoor and outdoor attendance should be limited through strict physical distancing of a minimum of six feet between attendees from different households
  • Protests – 25% of indoor capacity or 100 people, physical distancing of 6-feet to be maintained at all times, no signing or chanting, face covering required
  • Retail – 50% capacity
  • Shopping Malls, Swap Meets: Max 50% capacity
    • Closed common areas
    • Reduced capacity food courts (see restaurants)
  • Wineries and tasting rooms that provide sit-down meals must follow the CDPH dine-in restaurant guidance, with indoor occupancy limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Zoos, Museums, and Aquariums, and museums – 25% capacity

Outdoor Only

  • Cardrooms
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Offices for non-essential sectors (See offices allowed to stay open: Essential Workforce List)
  • Outdoor playgrounds – only when following CDPH guidance
  • Satellite wagering sites
  • Skating rinks (ice & roller)- outdoor only but may operate indoors at 10% capacity for individual appointments only. No open skating, groups practices, or team/club events allowed.


  • Amphitheaters, concert halls and venues, performing arts centers
  • Amusement and theme parks
  • Arenas
  • Banquet halls
  • Climbing gyms
  • Community centers
  • Conference and convention centers
  • Dance halls, dances
  • Fairs, festivals, public exhibitions
  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Indoor Swimming Pools
  • Live performance venues, live theatre, and live performances
  • Lounges
  • Music events, concerts
  • Nightclubs including private social clubs
  • Parties and Receptions.
  • Rodeos and public equestrian events
  • Roller derby
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Sports stadiums and facilities (except as necessary for professional and intercollegiate sporting events without live audiences)

Other Modifications

Schools and Higher Education

Santa Barbara County has met the requirements to remain in the Red Tier permitting K- 12th grade schools to return to in-person, on campus instruction.

For more information on schools click here

In-person higher education including technical schools, colleges, universities, adult education, and trade schools may offer indoor lectures and student gatherings with a 25% indoor capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. Courses offered in specialized indoor settings (e.g. labs, studio arts), whose design imposes substantial physical distancing on participants are permitted at regular capacity so long as the CDPS guidance for Institutions of Higher Education are followed. Distance learning is allowed.

Youth sports

Any business who wishes to re-open must submit an attestation form before doing so. The RISE Guide and Attestation form can be found on the RecoverySBC website.

Attestation Form
Business sector guidance documents

If you have already submitted an attestation form you do not need to re-submit.


Health Officer Order 2020-12.11 states gatherings are not allowed at this time. Very few exceptions apply (ex. Wedding ceremonies, religious/cultural gatherings, etc.)

A gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings people together in a single room or single indoor or outdoor space at the same time.

Face Coverings

Face coverings or masks help reduce the spread of coronavirus especially when combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Face coverings are required in Santa Barbara County and Statewide.

Californians must wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible. Please see the full Health Officer Order for more information.

Facial coverings with one-way valves are not permitted under the current Heath Officer Order as they permit respiratory droplets that may easily escape placing others at risk.