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Gov. Newsom Announces State To Reopen June 15 With Some Restrictions; Mask Mandate Still In Place

A sign warning people to wear masks due to COVID-19 at Torrey Pines State Beach, Feb. 26, 2021.
KPBS Staff
A sign warning people to wear masks due to COVID-19 at Torrey Pines State Beach, Feb. 26, 2021.
With Covid vaccinations up and Covid caseloads continuing to decline, California is preparing to eliminate the Covid tier system. Governor Newsom has announced that the standards that have ruled our lives and economy for months, the tiers from purple to yellow...will end in mid June.

Starting June 15, everyday activities can resume and most businesses can fully reopen with “common-sense risk reduction measures.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement Tuesday morning, citing California’s vaccination progress and low COVID-19 hospitalization rate. State officials are reporting more than 20 million doses have been administered and 41% of state residents over 16 are now vaccinated with their first dose.

“It is incumbent upon all of us not to announce mission accomplished, not to put down our guard but to continue that vigilance that got us where we are today — the lowest case rates, positivity rates in America,” Newsom said during televised remarks in San Francisco Tuesday. “We are seeing bright light at the end of the tunnel and on June 15 all things being equal we continue that good work we’ll have moved beyond that blueprint and reopening businesses as usual.”


California Health and Human Service Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly added that most businesses will not have capacity requirements. But he said conventions with over 5,000 people will be prohibited until October unless organizers can prove all attendees will be vaccinated or have a negative test. International convention attendees will only be allowed if they are fully vaccinated. Ghaly added officials are still working to bring back large outdoor and indoor events, like Coachella, which will still not be allowed after June 15.

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VIDEO: San Diego County Moving To Orange Tier Wednesday As Vaccinations Increase

California’s mask mandate will stay in place. The current color-coded tier system will be gone in ten weeks and the entire state will see restrictions removed on June 15.

“This will not be county by county as the blueprint has been,” Ghaly said. “This means the end to our color code tiers. This means we can go to the beach and see family.”

Ghaly said demand is still high for vaccinations, and officials are working on new guidance to gradually reopen sectors of the economy while incentivizing vaccinations.


New guidance expected by April 15 will expand capacity for private events if people are vaccinated and/or have a recent negative test. Ghaly said announcing the move now, will prepare businesses and communities to be ready for the “post-blueprint era in California.”

“California has made incredible progress controlling the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, masking, and getting vaccines out quickly to Californians in every corner of the state, including in those communities hardest hit by this pandemic. In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

In San Diego County, nearly 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered and 1,034,511 county residents — or 38.5% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency.

A total of 611,154 people in San Diego County — or 22.7% — are fully vaccinated. These numbers include both county residents and those who work in San Diego County.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diegans.

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan on Tuesday to reopen California by mid June if Covid-19 trends continue. Meanwhile, San Diego moves into the Orange Covid-19 tier today. Plus, Measure C, the hotel tax increase measure aimed at funding a convention center expansion, gets a second chance.