Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference to mark the June 15 reopening of the state after months of harsh lockdown protocols during the coronavirus pandemic with banners as a backdrop that read: “California Roars Back.”
Newsom told reporters that the state is following the most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but there are numerous caveats to the “fully reopened” plan.
Here are some of the exceptions, as reported by an NBC affiliate in California.
“As of June 15, California no longer requires physical distancing and allows full capacity for businesses. The state’s long-standing county tier system that determines restrictions has also been lifted, and the indoor mask mandate is no more,” KCRA 3 reported.
But here is some of the fine print:
- Businesses can still require people — vaccinated or not vaccinated — to wear masks inside.
- Fully vaccinated people still need to wear masks on public transit, including airplanes, buses, taxis and ride-shares.
- Fully vaccinated people still need to wear masks indoors in K-12 schools, child care and other youth settings, health care settings including long-term care facilities, state and local correctional facilities and detention centers, and homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers.
- Unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors at places like restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores.
- California says it will require vaccine verification or negative coronavirus test results for indoor events with more than 5,000 people and the same restrictions for “mega events” of more than 10,000 people.
- Children 12 and younger who are not eligible for the coronavirus vaccine are like other unvaccinated people and must wear a mask indoors and in most public places.
- Counties in California can set their own rules and some may be stricter than state rules.
KCRA also reported that Newsom is keeping emergency powers given to him by a court “in case things go south,” according to political analyst Steve Swatt.
“If there’s a problem, for example in vaccine distribution, if there’s a problem with a new variant coming in, that he can impose new restrictions as he sees fit,” Swatt said.
Newsom’s office provided KCRA 3 with the following statement on the state of emergency:
“The Emergency Proclamation recognizes that local jurisdictions cannot combat COVID-19 on their own, so it provides the state administrative flexibility to respond swiftly to the crisis and ensures we can support locals in their response to the pandemic,” the statement said. “Moreover, it allows California to continue coordinating with FEMA on a number of ongoing programs, like vaccinations and testing, which is especially important as the state continues vaccinating millions of people every week.”
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