Santa Barbara County is moving to the red tier.
The county was allowed to move into the less restrictive tier because the state reached its Vaccine Equity Metric's immediate goal of 2 million vaccine doses being administered to the hardest-hit communities statewide.
As a result, the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy tiers has been updated to allow counties with somewhat higher case rates to move into the red tier.
Under the red tier, restaurants can open for indoor seating at 25% capacity, gyms can resume indoor operations at 10% capacity, and movie theaters will be able to open indoors with a capacity limited to 25% or 100 people. Retail shops can also increase their capacity to 50%, and museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoors with modifications. Click here for detailed guidance for various business sectors.
Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say the change goes into effect on Wednesday, March 17, and businesses can resume indoor operations at that time.
Santa Barbara County joins 41 other counties that are in the red tier. Eleven counties still remain in the most restrictive purple tier.
San Luis Obispo County moved into the red tier earlier this month.