California appears to be nearing the end of its journey to economic reopening. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said he expects to lift most restrictions related to COVID-19 on June 15, assuming current trends continue. While individual counties and cities could impose their own public health guidelines, the governor’s action would reopen California at the state level for what he termed “everyday activities,” while still promoting “common-sense risk reduction measures.”
The June 15 date will be contingent, the governor stated, on two key metrics. First that hospitalization rates in the state remain “stable and low,” and secondly that the supply of vaccine remains “sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated.” If hospitalizations begin to trend back up, as they have in other parts of the country, or new questions arise about the efficacy of the vaccines being distributed, that date could be pushed back or changed.
Should that date be hit, it would apply to the entire state as a whole–the county-by-county tier system would no longer apply. Masks will still be required, and testing and vaccination encouraged or required for some activities, such as large indoor gatherings.
Newsom, addressing reporters from a vaccine distribution site in San Francisco, hit an optimistic tone.
“We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic,” he said. “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.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.