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  • Writer's pictureAlegria Sita

Event Guidance Moving Forward April 1, 2021: Weddings, Live Events, and All Gatherings

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Well, here we are... it's the onset of spring 2021 and we are finally inching our way back into event spaces after a long, dormant hiatus in the events world. With a season full of calendared events and clients reaching out to us on the daily seeking the latest updates on California's guidance for weddings and events, I thought it may be helpful to share some of the current guidance in one place. While it's been a quiet year for celebrations and gatherings with the Covid-19 pandemic, I am optimistic for celebrations this year as we make our way back towards mingling with our friends and family.

It appears our forward progression will be slow and steady, and certainly not a sprint back to the celebrations for which we long and that we all love. That said, the landscape of events moving forward will continue to evolve and change in the coming days, weeks and months, so if you're planning an event or wedding this year, be optimistic, and stay tuned for continual updates and (fingers-crossed) increased capacity!

While celebrations may look vastly different than we're used to, every step forward is progress. Let's party (safely) this season and beyond!

Effective today, April 1, 2021, California launches into its guidance for events and weddings. Guidance is determined based on industry, and in some cases there may be cross-over. Be sure to check with the county information center if you're unclear which guidance is appropriate for your event. Humboldt County's Covid Information Line: 707.441.5000.


Indoor ceremonies permitted with modifications. Outdoor and indoor receptions permitted for up to three households, including host and guests. Indoor receptions are strongly discouraged. Food and beverages are not permitted. – Max 25% capacity

See guidance for Places of worship and cultural ceremonies and gatherings

Places of Worship and Cultural Gatherings - updated April 1, 2021

In response to recent judicial rulings, the interim capacity limits below are effective immediately. The linked guidance is in the process of being updated. All other restrictions in the guidance remain in place.

Tier status

Widespread (purple)

  • Outdoor or indoor with modifications

  • Indoor activities are strongly discouraged and must be limited to 25% of capacity

Substantial (red)

  • Indoor with modifications

  • Indoor activities must be limited to 25% of capacity

Moderate (orange)

  • Indoor with modifications

  • Indoor activities must be limited to 50% of capacity

Minimal (yellow)

  • Indoor with modifications

  • Indoor activities must be limited to 50% of capacity

Singing, chanting, and playing wind instruments

Singing, chanting, playing wind instruments, and similar activities are permitted subject to the restrictions below. Workers or volunteers who are providing vocal, instrumental, or other music for a service or ceremony but sit or stand separately from the visitors or congregants are “performers.” Additional or alternative modifications for performances may be required by the forthcoming Live Performances guidance.

For outdoor activities:

  • Performers must follow the guidance for outdoor live events and performances.

  • Use of face coverings is mandatory except when actively eating and/or drinking. Exemptions identified in CDPH’s guidance for the use of face coverings are allowed.

  • Discourage audience members from singing, chanting, and similar practices that may increase the likelihood of transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets and aerosols.

Widespread (purple)

  • Performers singing, chanting, playing a wind instrument, or engaging in similar activities indoors must wear face coverings at all times.

  • Such performers must maintain at least 12 of physical distance from other performers and 24 feet of physical distance from visitors or congregants.

  • During a single service or ceremony before a live audience, no more than 10 performers may sing, chant, play wind instruments, or engage in similar activities.

  • Performers are counted toward the occupancy capacity limit.

  • Performers are strongly recommended to obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to the service.

  • Houses of worship should improve ventilation as much as possible.

Substantial (red), Moderate (orange), and Minimal (yellow)

  • Performers singing, chanting, playing a wind instrument, or engaging in similar activities indoors must wear face coverings at all times.

  • Performers must maintain physical distancing from congregants or spectators and other performers.

  • Performers are counted toward the occupancy capacity limit.

  • Performers are strongly recommended to obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to the service.

  • Houses of worship should improve ventilation as much as possible.

Recorded performances

When making a recording without a live audience for later use at a service or ceremony, performers may sing, chant, play wind instruments, or engage in similar activities without face coverings if the following conditions are met:

  • Each performer has taken a laboratory-based PCR diagnostic test (i.e., not a rapid test) that yielded a negative result within 72 hours prior to the recording session.

  • Performers must maintain six feet of physical distance.

  • Any additional individuals involved in making the recording must wear face coverings at all times.

Follow this guidance for places of worshipPDF(this is a pdf file) and providers of religious services to support a safe, clean environment for congregants, visitors, workers, and volunteers. Places of worship include:

  • Churches

  • Mosques

  • Synagogues

  • Temples

This guidance also applies to cultural ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for places of worshipPDF(this is a pdf file) and cultural ceremonies to show everyone that you’ve reduced the risk.

Live Events and Performances - updated March 26, 2021

Humboldt's current tier is Red:

Can open outdoors only with modifications – Max capacity 20% – Suite max capacity 25% – In-state attendees only – Advanced reservations only – In-seat concessions, no concourse sales

See guidance for Live events and performances

Beginning April 1, 2021, follow this guidance for outdoor live events, entertainment, and performancesPDF(this is a pdf file) with seated audiences. Review the guidance and prepare a plan to support a safe, clean environment for workers, performers, volunteers, and patrons.

This guidance includes additional considerations for:

  • Entry and security

  • Production departments

This guidance does not apply to convention-style events, general admission venues, and events where the central activity allows patrons to move around shared space.

Performances that take place in non-performance venues (like restaurants, bars, or places of worship) must also follow that type of venue’s industry guidance.

Additional activities will be permitted starting April 1, 2021. Guidance is forthcoming. Check CDPH’s activity and business tiers table for information about the upcoming changes.

Tier limits currently in effect

Widespread (purple):

  • Open with modifications

  • No live audiences

Substantial (red):

  • Open with modifications

  • No live audiences

Moderate (orange):

  • Open with modifications

  • Permanent venues with live audiences outdoors only

  • Capacity must be limited to 20%

  • Reservations required

  • Assigned seating only

  • In-seat concessions only (no concourse sales)

  • Regional attendees only (within 120 miles)

Minimal (yellow):

  • Open with modifications

  • Permanent venues with live audiences outdoors only

  • Capacity must be limited to 25%

  • Reservations required

  • Assigned seating only

  • In-seat concessions only (no concourse sales)

  • Regional attendees only (within 120 miles)

Recommendations & Mandatory Requirements for All Gatherings

All persons planning to host or participate in a private gathering, as defined above, must comply with the requirements identified below and are strongly encouraged to follow the recommendations as well. Activities protected by the First Amendment may proceed under this guidance notwithstanding any guidance, orders, or directives to the contrary. Local health jurisdictions may be more restrictive than this guidance. Refer to your local guidance for what is allowed in your area.

1. Attendance

a. Gatherings that include more than 3 households are prohibited. This includes everyone present, including hosts and guests. Remember, the smaller the number of people, the safer.

b. Keep the households that you interact with stable over time. By spending time with the same people, risk of transmission is reduced. Participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged.

c. The host should collect names of all attendees and contact information in case contact tracing is needed later.

2. Location: Gatherings Must be Outdoors for Counties in the Purple Tier

a. Gatherings that occur outdoors are significantly safer than indoor gatherings. All gatherings must be held outside in the Purple Tier, and indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged in Red, Orange and Yellow Tiers.

i. If gathering indoors, increase fresh air circulation by opening windows or doors, as much as possible, especially in the rooms where people are gathering.

b. A gathering of no more than three households is permitted in a public park or other outdoor space, even if unrelated gatherings of other groups up to three households are also occurring in the same park or other outdoor space. If multiple such gatherings are occurring, mixing between groups gatherings is not allowed. Additionally, multiple gatherings of three households cannot be jointly organized or coordinated to occur in the same public park or other outdoor space at the same time – this would constitute a gathering exceeding the permitted household limits.

3. Don’t Attend Gatherings If You Feel Sick

a. Anyone with any COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, night sweats, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, muscle or body aches, headaches, confusion, or loss of sense of taste/smell), must stay home and not come into contact with anyone outside their household. b. Anyone who develops COVID-19 within 48 hours after attending a gathering should notify the organizer of the gathering and/or other attendees as soon as possible regarding the potential exposure.

4. Individuals in a High-Risk Group are Discouraged from Attending any Gatherings

a. People at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (such as older adults and people with chronic medical conditions) are strongly urged not to attend any gatherings, especially indoor gatherings.

b. If higher-risk individuals do attend any gatherings, they should do the following to decrease the risk for exposure:

i. Spend as much time outside, or near outside air flow such as open windows or doors, as possible.

ii. Wear a respirator or surgical mask instead of a cloth mask, and minimize any time at the event with the mask off.

iii. Remain at least six feet, or ideally even farther away, from others outside their household as much as possible, especially when people are eating or drinking without face coverings.

iv. Spend a shorter time at the gathering than others to reduce potential exposure.

5. Practice Physical Distancing and Hand Hygiene at Gatherings

a. For any gatherings permitted under this guidance, the space must be large enough so that everyone at a gathering can maintain at least a 6-foot physical distance from others (not including their own household) at all times.

b. Seating must provide at least 6 feet of distance (in all directions—front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households.

c. Everyone at a gathering should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

d. Shared items should be minimized during a gathering. Food and beverages should be served by a person who washes or sanitizes their hands frequently, and who must wear a face covering. Self-serve items from communal containers should be minimized.

e. Remind all persons to sanitize hands before eating or drinking, and after touching shared items if shared items are unavoidable.

6. Wear a Face Covering to Keep COVID-19 from Spreading

a. When gathering, face coverings must be worn in accordance with the CDPH Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, unless an exemption is applicable.

b. People at gatherings are advised to limit removal of their face coverings to when they are actively eating or drinking. While face coverings are removed for this purpose, they should stay at least 6 feet away from everyone outside their own household, and put their face covering back on as soon as they are done with the activity.

c. Face coverings can also be removed to meet urgent medical needs (for example, to use an asthma inhaler, take medication, or if feeling light-headed).

7. Keep it short

a. Gatherings should be two hours or less. The longer the duration, the risk of transmission increases.

8. Singing, Chanting, Shouting, Cheering and Similar Activities Are Strongly Discouraged at Outdoor Gatherings and Prohibited at Indoor Gatherings

a. Singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, physical exertion, and similar activities significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission because these activities increase the release of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols into the air. Because of this, singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, and similar activities are strongly discouraged in outdoor settings, but if they occur, the following rules and recommendations apply:

i. All people who are singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, or engaging in similar activities should wear a face covering at all times while engaging in those activities, including anyone who is leading a song, chant, or cheer. Because these activities pose a very high risk of COVID-19 transmission, face coverings are essential to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols;

ii. People who are singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising are strongly encouraged to maintain physical distancing beyond 6 feet to further reduce risk.

iii. People who are singing or chanting are strongly encouraged to do so quietly (at or below the volume of a normal speaking voice).

b. Instrumental music is allowed outdoors as long as the musicians maintain at least 6-foot physical distancing. Musicians must be from one of the three households. Playing of wind instruments (any instrument played by the mouth, such as a trumpet or clarinet) is strongly discouraged, and if played should use protective or tightly woven cloth barriers on the instrument bells or at the end of the instrument to protect from spread of condensation droplets. If music is played, it is recommended that the volume be quiet enough that attendees can speak in a normal voice without shouting.

c. Singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, playing of wind instruments and similar activities are not permitted in indoor gatherings.

If you are planning an event or wedding in 2021 and you feel you could use some support navigating the ever-changing landscape of events in the time of Covid-19, please connect with Gala Events and Weddings to schedule your discovery call. We'd love to assist you with your event!

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