SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California, the first state in the U.S. to issue a stay-at-home order during the pandemic, lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday.
As of June 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state’s restrictions such as physical distancing, capacity limits and its county tier system have ended.
As for face coverings in the state, masks will no longer be mandated for those who are vaccinated in most settings, but businesses and counties can still require them. Masks will also still be required at places like hospitals, long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, and public transit.
There are some reopening exceptions in “unique settings.” For indoor events of 5,000 people or more, attendees must confirm proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 status in order to attend. And for outdoor events of 10,000 people or more, like concerts and sporting events, the state is recommending that attendees confirm proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 status to attend.
As California reopens, it has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, below 1%. More than half of the state’s population, 56.3%, has received at least one dose, according to a tracker from the Los Angeles Times. Among that group of residents, about 47% are fully vaccinated.
“California is turning the page on this pandemic, thanks to swift action by the state and the work of Californians who followed public health guidelines and got vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities,” said Newsom in a statement. “With nearly 40 million vaccines administered and among the lowest case rates in the nation, we are lifting the orders that impact Californians on a day-to-day basis while remaining vigilant to protect public health and safety as the pandemic persists.”
Ahead of the reopening, Newsom announced Monday that the state is establishing a “dream vacation” giveaway, where Californians who are 18+ and at least partially vaccinated will have the chance to win vacation packages in a drawing on July 1.
The governor is also proposing $95 million to aid the state’s tourism and hospitality economy, which lost nearly half of its 1.2 million jobs. Newsom said it’s estimated that over 300,000 jobs can be recovered within a year with the support of the investment.