California to let Disneyland, Major League Baseball reopen

New rules take effect April 1

FILE - In this file March 18, 2020, file phootom one of the normally bustling entrances to the Disneyland resort is vacant due to the coronavirus closure in Anaheim, Calif. State health officials announced strict new rules for reopening theme parks on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, attractions spanning from Disneyland to Universal Studios are now bracing for an even longer shutdown, and so are the surrounding communities lined with hotels, restaurants and shops devoted to visitors who no longer walk their streets. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
FILE - In this file March 18, 2020, file phootom one of the normally bustling entrances to the Disneyland resort is vacant due to the coronavirus closure in Anaheim, Calif. State health officials announced strict new rules for reopening theme parks on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, attractions spanning from Disneyland to Universal Studios are now bracing for an even longer shutdown, and so are the surrounding communities lined with hotels, restaurants and shops devoted to visitors who no longer walk their streets. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California on Friday lifted some coronavirus restrictions on outdoor sports and entertainment venues, clearing the way for fans to attend games on Major League Baseball’s opening day and for theme parks like Disneyland to reopen for the first time in more than a year.

The rules take effect April 1, but they only apply to people living in California. Baseball teams, event organizers and theme parks are not allowed to sell tickets to anyone living out of state as public health officials try to limit mixing while continuing to roll out coronavirus vaccinations.

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The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A’s all announced they will have fans in the stands for opening day on April 1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants both start their seasons on the road and said they would announce their plans later.

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock did not say when the iconic theme park would reopen, but added “we can’t wait to welcome guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced the rules on the same day the governor signed a law aimed at returning public school students to classrooms by April 1. Newsom and state lawmakers have moved quickly in recent days to change the state’s coronavirus rules, including allowing indoor youth sports to resume and making it easier for businesses to reopen in most counties.

Newsom also faces a recall threat that has gained steam during the pandemic amid growing opposition to shutdowns.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s top public health official, said the state is acting now because the rates of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are declining while the number of people receiving vaccines is increasing. California reported 4,659 new coronavirus cases on Thursday while just over 3 million people have been fully vaccinated, or about 10% of the population 16 and older.