California targets full reopening by June 15

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

CALIFORNIA plans to move away from its color-coded tier system and fully reopen its economy by June 15, depending on vaccine and hospitalization numbers remaining stable.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the target data on Tuesday, April 6 and said the state must meet the criteria of sufficient vaccine supply for residents over the age of 16 who plan to be vaccinated and stable hospitalization rates.

“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy,” Newsom said in a statement. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. We will need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that got us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”

The state will move away from the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, its tiered system, once the economy fully reopens, but health measures like face coverings and social distancing will remain.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles County relaxed more restrictions as the area moved into the orange tier as part of the state’s reopening blueprint.

Under the second least restrictive phase, bars that don’t serve meals can now reopen outdoors from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with 8-foot distance between tables. Visits are limited to 90 minutes and masks are required except when people are eating or drinking.

Businesses and activities such as movie theaters, restaurants, churches, museums, zoos and aquariums can increase their capacity from 25% to 50%.

Gyms and fitness studios operating indoors can go from 10% to 25% capacity. Cardrooms and family entertainment centers can move indoors at 25% capacity.

Meanwhile, grocery and retail stores can increase capacity to 75%, but LA County Public Health recommends that the stores remain at 50% capacity until April 15 to allow more grocery store workers to get vaccinated.

Hair salons, barbershops and personal care services can increase capacity to 75% with masks required, except for services where customers need to remove their masks.

Despite the rollback on restrictions, county officials urged residents to avoid non-essential travel. Those who are fully vaccinated are at lower risk and may travel with public health precautions in mind.

Non-essential travels who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for seven full days after travel if they get tested and get a negative COVID-19 test result from a specimen collected 3-5 days after their arrival. They must also quarantine for 10 full days after travel if they did not get tested with a COVID-19 test after their arrival, based on the updated travel advisory.

Newsom’s announcement on Tuesday came as the Golden State was set to reach 20 million vaccine doses administered.

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded to all residents 50 through 64 years old in addition to all other eligible groups at the beginning of April. On April 15, vaccines become available to any resident in Los Angeles County who is 16 and older.

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