California is reopening soon. Here's what changes on June 15
California will fully reopen its economy on June 15, eliminating restrictions that have been in place for months.
Dramatically fewer virus cases and increasing vaccinations mean it’s safe for the state to remove nearly all restrictions, state health director Dr. Mark Ghaly has said.
More than 51% of Californians were fully vaccinated as of Monday, with about 70% of residents receiving at least one dose. Daily COVID-19 cases continue to decrease to numbers not seen since before the peak of the pandemic.
So, what changes on June 15? Here's what Californians canexpect, according to guidance released by the California Department of Public Health:
Restaurants, retail: Business as usual
Restaurants, bars, retail stores, theaters, amusement parks, places of worship, hotels and entertainment centers may return to usual operations.
This meansthere will be no restrictions on capacity limitations, and social distancing will no longer be required for attendees, customers and guests.
Disneyland, for example, will be able to welcome non-California residents to its parks.
Face mask rules eased
Fully vaccinated individuals will not need to wear face coverings in most indoor and outdoor settings. However, they will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, airports and transportation stations.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals will be required to wear facial coverings outside of their home.
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Some businesses, however, may choose to continue to require facial coverings. Ghaly previously said private businesses "can drive how they implement" mask guidance, as well as local county governments.
Walmart, Costco, Target and Trader Joe's announced last month they will allow fully vaccinated shoppers to go mask-free unless state or local mandates say otherwise.
Big events will require proof of vaccination
Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees, and recommended for outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees, through Oct. 1, according to state public health.
A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card or documentation of vaccination from a health care provider can be used to show proof of vaccination.
A COVID-19 test must be conducted before 72 hours of an event. A printed document, email or text message displaying the test results must be shown.
"Businesses and venue operators may also utilize self-attestation at point of registration, during ticket purchase or on the day of the event prior to entry into the venue," according to the state.
Workplace restrictions may not change
Conflicted California workplace regulators approved controversial rules Thursday night that allow workers to go maskless only if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board made clear Thursday night that the regulations are only a stopgap while they consider further easing pandemic rules in coming weeks or months.
The board initially voted 4-to-3 to reject any changes to current rules.
But Cal/OSHA Chairman David Thomas said that would have left employers with the current rules, which require masks for all employees, along with social distancing and partitions between employees in certain circumstances. Moments later, the seven-member board unanimously adopted the revised regulations while a three-member subcommittee considers more changes.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ema Sasic covers health in the Coachella Valley. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ema_sasic.