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California Reopens Economy: What Does it Mean for You?

Cory Doctorow
Wikimedia Commons
Handy Market mannequin with covid mask, Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California, USA

June 15 is the official reopening date for California’s economy, ending many restrictions that have governed life in California off and on since March 2020. All nine Bay Area counties have confirmed that they will align restrictions with the Beyond the Blueprint framework for reopening businesses.

Restaurants and grocery stores won’t need to limit the number of customers inside. In addition, social distancing requirements have been dropped. One notable exception: mega events with crowds greater than 5,000 indoors or 10,000 outdoors will require verification of vaccination status or a negative COVID test.

What about masks? You’ll have to keep your mask on if you work indoors. But the state will consider modifying face covering requirements when the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board meets on June 17.

If you go into a business, masks are no longer required as long as you’re fully vaccinated; however, masks are still required on public transit and indoors at schools, prisons, and healthcare facilities.

Governor Gavin Newsom told musician John Legend in an Instagram Live on June 14, "We're reopening California tomorrow. Deep breath of fresh air versus that stale of normalcy this last year and a half."

The governor said getting back to normal will require that Californians get their vaccinations. Right now, only about 55% of California residents are fully vaccinated. Even though the state is reopening, COVID-19 remains a reality.

Katherine Simpson is a teacher and journalist in the Bay Area. She's been working in public radio since 2018.