What you can and can't do under California's new reopening plan
Mark your calendars for June 15, California, and pencil in a pool party, return to the office or a trip to grandma’s house.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that by mid-June, the state will do away with its color-coded COVID-19 tier system implemented last summer and fully reopen the economy by lifting most restrictions.
“We are now moving beyond the blueprint,” Newsom said during a Tuesday news conference to announce the plan. “We can confidently say by June 15 that we can start to open up as business as usual.”
The June 15 goal is contingent on a steady supply of vaccine, along with getting as many people inoculated against the virus as possible. Newsom said he expects 30 million people will have received at least one shot by the end of April. Californians should also maintain current precautions like social distancing and wearing masks.
But what does the announcement mean for you and your summer plans?
Newsom said he doesn’t expect to lift the mask mandate anytime soon, which means you should continue using face coverings to protect yourself and others against the virus.
“We are not anticipating in the short run lifting the mask mandate,” Newsom said, adding that it’s one of the most effective tools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends the continued use of masks in most situations.
Sick of wearing your pajamas all day, or using your kitchen table as a desk?
As long as your workplace implements risk-reduction policies like improving indoor ventilation and wearing masks, it’s possible that you can return to the office by June 15.
Bars, gyms, restaurants and church
Businesses like bars, restaurants and gyms will also get a reprieve from the color-coded restrictions and can return to “usual operations” under the state’s latest outline.
The same goes for places of worship, movie theaters, zoos, museums, hotels and other businesses outlined in the current blueprint.
“We can go to the movies,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a Tuesday press call, “to the beach and see families.”
The plan lacks details on travel requirements, other than those already outlined by the California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state department currently recommends “delaying travel until persons are fully vaccinated.” The federal agency advises the same, especially for international travel.
Fully vaccinated people do not need to get tested before or after travel or quarantine under the federal guidelines.
It’s been a year of mostly distance learning for the majority of California’s school kids. That is likely to change, Newsom said, with the state’s latest plan.
Newsom said the expectation will be for kids to be physically back in the classroom full time, though expect public health measures like masks and social distancing to stay in place.
“On June 15 we anticipate there will be no barrier to getting all our kids safely back in classrooms,” Newsom said.
Unless all attendees can provide proof of getting vaccinated or having a negative COVID-19 test, conventions will be capped at 5,000 under the state’s reopening plan until at least Oct. 1.
International attendees are required to be fully vaccinated.