Last night at 11:59 pm, Southern California became subject to the state’s new Regional Stay Home Order. The Governor’s office announced the new Order last week on December 3, although it did not immediately take effect.

The Order divides California’s counties into five Regions – Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. The Order goes into effect in a Region when the Region’s ICU availability falls below 15%, and it lasts for at least three weeks.

The 11-county Southern California Region is now subject to the order as ICU capacity has fallen to just 12.5%. The Order will be lifted either three weeks from today or when the Region’s ICU capacity is back over 15%, which ever happens later.

Currently, the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley Regions are the only two Regions where the order is in effect.

When a Region becomes subject to the Order, the following sectors must close entirely:

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Movie theaters and family entertainment centers
  • Bars, breweries and distilleries
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

The following sectors will not be required to close entirely, but must operate subject to certain restrictions:

  • Restaurants will be open only for take-out and delivery; no indoor OR outdoor dining.
  • Retail and shopping centers will be open at only 20% capacity with no eating or drinking in stores.
  • Hotels and lodging will be open only for critical infrastructure support.
  • Places of worship may allow outdoor services only.
  • Offices must be remote only, except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.

Indoor private gatherings will not be permitted in counties in the Widespread (Purple) Tier. Currently, every county in the Southern California Region, as defined, is in the Purple Tier except for Inyo County.

The following sectors will be allowed to remain open, but with 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Critical infrastructure
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Schools that are already open
  • Childcare and pre-kindergarten

As a reminder, the thirteen critical infrastructure sectors are:

  1. Health and Public Health Sector
  2. Emergency Services Sector
  3. Food and Agriculture Sector
  4. Energy Sector
  5. Water and Wastewater Sector
  6. Transportation and Logistics Sector
  7. Communications and Information Technology


  1. Government Operations and Other Community- Based Essential Functions
  2. Critical Manufacturing Sector
  3. Financial Services Sector
  4. Chemical Sector
  5. Defense Industrial Base Sector
  6. Industrial, Commercial, Residential and Sheltering Facilities and Services

Failure to comply with the order may be punishable by fine and as a misdemeanor, revocation of a business license, or court-imposed penalties.