California will reopen today, June 15, allowing most businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. Many will also be able to drop mask requirements by the end of the month, and only large indoor events will face vaccination requirements.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Changes at all sorts of public spaces will be dramatic, said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County public health director.
“It’s huge,” she said. For “restaurants, bars, nightclubs, card rooms, family entertainment centers, there will not be specific protocols. … There will be no capacity limits and no distancing requirements.”
Californians who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to stop wearing face masks in most situations, unless a business or venue decides to keep masks mandatory for everyone.
Fully vaccinated employees, however, may have to wait a little longer before removing their masks in the workplace. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board suggested it would approve a new rule allowing fully vaccinated employees to stop wearing masks in most workplaces effective June 28.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom pre-empted the new rule, announcing Monday that workers who have been vaccinated will not have to wear masks as of Thursday, June 17.
The state will mark the day with a lottery, drawing the names of 10 Californians who have received at lest one dose of vaccine to receive a prize of $1.5 million.
There will be additional prizes, to be drawn in the coming weeks, including six “dream vacations” throughout the state of California.
The reopening marks a dramatic turnaround for the state. Last winter, California was among the hardest hit of all states by the second wave of the pandemic; this spring, it has seen its infection rates drop to among the lowest in the nation.
When vaccine distribution began earlier this year, California was the worst state in the nation, partly due to attempts at “equity.” Now, it is in the top 25%, one of 13 states in which 70% of the population has received at least one shot.
There are still concerns about the effects of the new coronavirus strain from India. Small business owners and school districts are worried that a third wave could trigger new shutdowns.
But for now, California’s endless summer is back on.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.