California will drop all capacity limits for businesses and social distancing requirements when the state fully reopens on June 15 after more than a year of lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, state health officials announced Friday.
The new guidelines, outlined by state Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, come as the state records fewer Covid-19 infections, and nearly half its eligible population is vaccinated. And while California will mostly return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy, it will keep mask mandates in place for those unvaccinated, in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, and require vaccine verification for some very large gatherings.
For large outdoor events, like concerts and sports with more than 10,000 attendees, the state advises a system to verify vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test. If an attendee is not vaccinated, or opts out of a test, wearing a mask will be recommended. For indoor events, the threshold drops to 5,000 attendees where those without proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test will be required to wear a mask, according to Ghaly.
So-called vaccine passports are not being considered at this time, Ghaly said.
Over 35 million vaccine doses have been administered to date in California and the state continues to push availability, bringing efforts deeper into communities and incentivizing shots. In one such effort, the Los Angeles Lakers are offering a chance to win pair of season tickets to adults who get their first shot this weekend.
“Californians who want a vaccine should have a fairly easy time getting on at this point,” Ghaly noted.
California health officials plan to continue closely tracking Covid-19 case rates after dropping most restrictions, but remain confident the state is in a good position to move forward.
ctions on places that have serious outbreaks.