What is the purple tier and what are the restrictions?

CALIFORNIA governor Gavin Newsom has announced he is pulling the "emergency brake" and implementing strict lockdown measures across most counties ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The move into the purple tier for 41 of California's 58 counties comes as coronavirus cases in the state are doubling every 10 days.

What is the purple tier?

Purple, or Tier 1, indicates that coronavirus is widespread in the county – with more than seven cases per 100,000, or more than 8 per cent of test results reported positive over seven days.

No public or private schools in counties rated purple can open for in-person teaching.

Church services must take place outdoors as there is a ban on indoor worship.

All retail remains open but shops can only operate at 25 per cent of their normal capacity.

Shopping malls also remain open but capacity is restricted to 25 per cent and food courts are closed.

Restaurants that serve food outdoors are permitted to remain open but bars and pubs are shut.

Remote working is recommended under the purple tier restrictions.

Professional sports can continue but these must take place behind closed doors.

Theme parks remain closed under the purple tiered restrictions.

What is California's new color coded Covid system?

California's new color-coded Covid system is part of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The four tiers are purple, red, orange and yellow.

Purple represents counties with widespread Covid-19, red reflects areas with a substantial number of cases, orange is the moderate tier, and yellow reflects area with a minimal number of cases.

Under the yellow tier, restaurants can operate indoors at 50 per cent of their capacity, as can movie theatres, bars, and places of worship.

Under Tier 4, large amusement parks would also be allowed to open at 25 per cent of their normal capacity.

What are the Covid restrictions in California?

Governor Newsom said he was pulling the "emergency brake" on November 16 in an attempt to curb rising infection rates.

He said: "We are sounding the alarm. California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer.

"The spread of Covid-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our healthcare system and lead to catastrophic outcomes."

The restrictions will halt indoor worship and force most indoor businesses to close, or at least operate at a fraction of their capacity.

Most schools will be closed, including in Los Angeles which is the nation's second largest school district.

Californians must wear face masks when they are outside of their home, unless exempt.

Residents have been told not to gather with people from outside their household and they should not visit loved ones during the Thanksgiving holiday season.


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