SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California is set to "reopen" on June 15 by lifting its color-coded tier system and relaxing most of its coronavirus-related restrictions on capacity and social distancing at businesses.
These changes came about as the state continues to vaccinate more and more Californians and case rates and hospitalizations decreased.
Starting June 15, businesses will be able to return to usual operations, with some exceptions for certain industries. For the most part, places like restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, and other everyday places will not have capacity limits or require social distancing among patrons.
California public health officials plan to keep the "beyond reopening" guidance in place until at least Oct. 1, when it will reevaluate whether the guidance should be extended based on current conditions.
There will be some rules that stay in place and rules surrounding mask-wearing and gatherings:
RULES ON MASKS AFTER REOPENING
California says it will mostly align with the CDC's recommendations on face coverings after June 15, though with some exceptions. According to the state, this means that:
For fully vaccinated persons:
- Face coverings are not required outdoors, except when attending crowded outdoor events like live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings;
- Fully vaccinated persons can visit, without masks or social distancing, other fully vaccinated people or unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, indoors or outdoors
- Masks are not required when visiting everyday places like grocery stores, gyms, or restaurants
For unvaccinated persons:
- Face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including crowded outdoor events like live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
- Masks are required at "indoor public settings," like grocery stores, retail shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and other similar indoor businesses
For everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated:
- Masks will be required for schools, public transportation, traveling via airlines, prison facilities, homeless shelters, and healthcare settings. Instances when a mask won't be required in an indoor setting outside of the home include:
- Persons in a car alone or only with members of their household;
- Persons working alone in a closed office or room;
- Persons obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of masks is needed;
- Workers who wear respiratory protection;
- Persons who are specifically exempt from wearing face coverings, which includes:
- Persons younger than two years old;
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential;
- Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators
For businesses to make sure customers are adhering to mask rules, Dr. Ghaly says that business owners can:
- Ask customers if they are fully vaccinated so they can go without masks,
- Ask customers to prove they are fully vaccinated so they can go without masks, and
- Require all customers to continue wearing masks regardless of whether or not they're vaccinated
RULES ON GATHERINGS AFTER REOPENING
After June 15, mega events, defined as large gatherings more than 5,000 attendees indoors or 10,000 attendees outdoors, will be subject to restrictions around vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests from attendees.
Indoor mega events, like conventions or indoor concerts, will require attendees to verify full vaccination status or provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before attending. Attendees will also have to follow the CDC's guidance around face coverings.
Outdoor mega events, full vaccination verification or a negative COVID-19 test will be "strongly recommended" for attendees. Attendees who do not verify vaccination status should be asked to wear face coverings as a precaution. Anyone attending these outdoor events will also have to follow CDC face-covering guidance and venues must make masks available for everyone attending.