The four-tiered, color-coded system ranks counties based on the number of virus cases and infection rates. Businesses can add more customers or open more services as their county moves into lower tiers.
For example, counties in the most restrictive tier purple can only allow restaurant dining outside. But in lower red, orange and yellow tiers, they can serve people in indoor dining rooms at reduced capacity.
When the new system takes effect, 38 of the state’s 58 counties, including Los Angeles and nearly every other large county, will begin at purple. Only three rural counties will begin in the yellow phase, the least restrictive.
There is no stage established for the return of live event audiences at professional sports and theater and concert venues.
The new system established a benchmark for all counties to allow all types of retail, including indoor shopping malls and hair salons that operate indoors. Counties also can keep stricter rules in place than the state allows and that’s what Los Angeles County officials may do.