California Details New Mask Guidance Ahead of June 15 Reopening

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After over a year of restrictions and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California officially announces the state’s reopening on June 15. This is the closest we can get to normalcy, however, the masks will have to stay. 

On June 15, California’s plan, dubbed “Beyond the Blueprint,” will lift capacity and social distancing restrictions for most businesses and activities. There are still exceptions to these and some counties might maintain stricter rules. 

Here is everything we know so far. 

San Francisco will have stricter requirements

Most counties will still follow the state’s pandemic guidelines but San Francisco officials say they will have a few stricter requirements. 

Dr. Susan Philip, an SF Health Office, announced in a reopening webinar Tuesday that the city will follow the state and CDC guidelines for most public and business settings, except for indoor and outdoor mega events. 

“We will be a little more strict in some settings including health care facilities, shelters, skilled nursing facilities and other high-risk settings,” she said. 

Business owners and operators can require masking and proof of vaccination if they want to, which will be the case for all counties under California’s new guidelines. 

No extra sanitation process will be necessary. 

Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties confirm their alignment with the Beyond the Blueprint plan starting June 15.

Mask is no longer required for vaccinated individuals (with a few exceptions)

Following CDC’s mask recommendation, on June 15, California will allow fully vaccinated individuals to forego the mask, including shopping, going to the bar, to the gym, and attending church services. 

There are a few exceptions to these. Within the vicinity of health care settings and public transportation, like airport and transit stations, masks are still required. 

Workplace mask rules: One unvaccinated, everyone is required to wear a mask

The board of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health voted to loosen workplace mask rules. However, this could change in the coming weeks. 

For now, starting June 15, if at least one person in the workplace is unvaccinated, everyone will have to wear a mask. If everyone is vaccinated, the workplace can go maskless. Despite being vaccinated, it is still recommended to maintain social distancing rules. 

For customers, vaccinated individuals can shop without a mask, unless the business has a stricter policy. If unvaccinated, customers should wear masks indoors. 

No more capacity limitations

Businesses will no longer have any capacity limitations and operations can go back to pre-pandemic. Social distancing is also no longer required. This is the case for most of the Bay Area unless a county changes rules before June 15. 

Masks are required for public traveling

Fully vaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks when using public transportation, such as planes, buses, and trains. 

Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to get tested before or after traveling within the U.S or quarantine after travel. 

Children returning to school are still required to wear masks

COVID vaccines for children under 12 are not yet approved so more guidance and implementations are highly expected. The CDC advises that children under 12 still wear a mask even if their parents are fully vaccinated. 

San Francisco Unified School District promised a full return to in-person classes in the fall, however, also advises parents and students to not expect things to go back normally yet. 

Big events guidelines

Crowds of all sizes are allowed for both indoor and outdoor. But the state has detailed more specific guidelines for “mega events,” which are defined as having more than 5,000 attendees indoors and 10,000 outdoors. These are still considered higher risks. 

For indoor mega events, organizers are to require the attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. These steps are recommended for outdoor events as well.