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In addition to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional orders which discriminate against churches and places of worship, he has now released onerous government restrictions on Thanksgiving gatherings.

The California Department of Public Health’s recent “Guidance for Private Gatherings” mandates that “all persons planning to host or participate in a private gathering” must comply.

The mandatory requirements for Thanksgiving gatherings include:

  • No more than three households are permitted, including hosts and guests.
  • The host should collect names of all attendees and contact information in case the state or local county wants to contact trace the guests later.
  • Must be held outside.
  • Attendees may briefly go inside to use restrooms if the facilities are frequently sanitized.
  • May occur in outdoor spaces that are covered by umbrellas, canopies, awnings, roofs, and other shade structures provided that at least three sides of the space (or 75 percent) are open.
  • The space must be large enough to always maintain at least a six-foot physical distance from others (not including their own household).
  • Seating must provide at least six feet of distance (in all directions—front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households.
  • Everyone should frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. A place to wash hands or use hand sanitizer must be available.
  • Food or beverages must be in single-serve disposable containers. If providing single-serve containers is not possible, food and beverages must be served by people who wash or sanitize their hands frequently and wear a face covering.
  • Self-serve items from communal containers should not be used (no passing the mashed potatoes, cranberry salad, and forget having the turkey on the table this year).
  • Face coverings must be worn and removed only briefly to eat or drink if attendees stay at least six feet away from everyone outside their own household.
  • Face coverings can also be removed to meet urgent medical needs (for example, to use an asthma inhaler, take medication, or if feeling light-headed).
  • The Thanksgiving gathering may only be two hours or less.
  • Singing, chanting, and shouting are strongly discouraged, but if they occur, a face covering must be worn, including anyone who is leading a song or chant.
  • People who are singing, shouting, chanting, or exercising are strongly encouraged to maintain physical distancing beyond six feet.
  • People who are singing or chanting are strongly encouraged to do so quietly (at or below the volume of a normal speaking voice).
  • Instrumental music is allowed if the musicians maintain at least six-foot physical distancing.
  • Musicians must be from one of the three households.
  • Playing of wind instruments (any instrument played by the mouth, such as a trumpet or clarinet) is strongly discouraged.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The same Gov. Gavin Newsom that has encouraged thousands of total strangers to protest together in the streets, now wants to impede upon the freedom of families and friends to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday. For some families, Thanksgiving will not include grandma and the children or siblings. Imagine family members traveling for hours only to be restricted to a two-hour outdoor gathering without physical contact! What if the weather is too hot or cold or it rains? For Gov. Newsom to think he has authority to micromanage a private family Thanksgiving dinner is the height of hubris. These restrictions are ludicrous.”

Author: Liberty Counsel


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