More than 15 months after becoming the first state in the US to implement a stay-at-home order due to the Covid-19 pandemic, California fully reopened its economy on Tuesday.
That happened after more than 70% of eligible residents received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and new case rates have remained steadily below 1%.
What restrictions are going away?
For all business sectors, Covid-19 restrictions – including capacity limitations and social distancing – requirements are lifted.
What restrictions will remain?
Mega events such as concerts, conventions, and sports still have some restrictions. Vaccine verification are required for those attending indoor events with 5,000 people or more, and recommended for outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees.
Will people still need to wear masks?
A new health order went into effect Tuesday, allowing for vaccinated individuals to go without a face covering in most situations, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear a face covering in public indoor settings.
Masks will still be mandated in certain places including on public transportation, and indoors in hospitals, and jails.
K-12 schools and child care centers will continue to require face coverings.
Businesses can still require masks at their discretion.
Cal/OSHA is set to adopt new rules for face coverings in the workplace, but because that isn’t expected until the end of June, Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated Monday he will sign an executive order later this week “to clear up any ambiguity.”
What’s the vaccination situation in California?
California has administered nearly 40 million vaccines, and about 72% of the state’s population is at least partially vaccinated, Newsom said Monday. Approximately 47% of residents are fully vaccinated. There will be no vaccine requirement or so-called vaccine passport, but Newsom plans to announce an electronic version of their vaccine cards later this week.
The state has invested $116.5 million in incentives, offering gift cards and cash prizes. Tuesday, state officials will hold a drawing where 10 people who have been vaccinated will each win a $1.5 million grand prize.
On Monday, California added six “dream vacations” to the prize pool, which include popular destinations such as San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs and Anaheim. Each package will focus on a specific area and include prizes such as theme park admission, Giants, Padres, or Lakers tickets, or a luxury hotel stay.
Winners will be chosen on July 1.
What should visitors expect when traveling to California?
California has issued a travel advisory that recommends caution, testing and self-quarantine for unvaccinated visitors from out of state and residents returning to the state, per CDC guidance. Fully vaccinated travelers can safely enter and travel within the state.
What about Disneyland?
Out-of-state guests will be welcome at the park starting June 15, but reservations are still required. Masks are not required for fully vaccinated visitors inside the park, but will be mandatory on the parking lot trams. Additionally, guests will be allowed to “self-determine” social distancing.
Yosemite National Park?
Reservations are required to drive into Yosemite through September 30. Some services and facilities are limited, and shuttles are not operating.
What happens to California’s reopening tier system?
California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which assigned each of the 58 counties to a four-tiered, color-coded category with easing restrictions, is retired.
What about the state of emergency?
Newsom is not ending state of emergency, saying the pandemic is not yet behind us.
By the numbers:
– Covid-19 cases in California: 3,697,927 (CDPH data).
– Covid-19 fatalities: 62,515 (CDPH data).
– California residents have remained under at least some version of a stay-at-home order for 453 days.
– Infections peaked in early January with more than 60,000 new cases reported on January 4 and close to 700 deaths each day for more than a week.
– Hospitals were overcome with Covid-19 patients during that time, averaging about 22,000 new admissions each day.