Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
California health officials on Tuesday released new criteria for political protest, restricting, among other things, the number of attendees at a demonstration.
The new restrictions come as the state has slowly begun to reopen its economy in at least 47 of its 58 counties. But frustration remains among many over the shutdown’s impact on businesses and workers.
California’s Department of Public Health said in-person protests are still allowed to take place, but stressed that they carry “a higher risk of widespread transmission of COVID-19” and encouraged participants to wear face masks at all times.
The agency “recommended” that protesters use “alternative” channels such as online and broadcasting platforms.
Under the new restrictions, attendance at a protest is limited to 25 percent of the area’s maximum occupancy or capped at 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
The restrictions also say physical distancing of 6 feet between attendees coming from different households will be enforced at all times. Failure to abide by this rule, the department said, “may result in an order to disperse or other enforcement action.”
The new limitations went into effect Monday and will be reviewed every three weeks. Each review will assess the impact of these restrictions on public health and “provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of gatherings that implicate the First Amendment,” the department said.