California to raise most Covid restrictions June 15, maintain masks mandate


California Governor Gavin Newsom visits a COVID-19 mobile vaccination center in South Gate, California on March 10, 2021.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday the state would reopen its economy by June 15, provided coronavirus vaccine and hospitalization cases remain stable.

“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our animal system and try to fully reopen the California economy,” Newsom said in a statement.

“We can now start planning our post-pandemic life. We need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that brought us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter,” he said added.

Newsom’s announcement comes just over a year after California, the most populous state in the country, shut down its economy due to the spreading health pandemic.

The state should also end its four-color tier system that was used to determine the level of risk.

Over the past month, a number of states across the country have relaxed restrictions to varying degrees.

Texas announced a return to full capacity companies but dropped its mask mandate. The Lone Star State also welcomed the country’s first full-capacity sporting event. The Texas Rangers held their home opener on Monday, allowing fans to sit side by side.

The Arizona governor also ended capacity restrictions on businesses, but said they must continue to need masks.

The Alabama governor said the state will lift its mask mandate after April 9. South Carolina lifted the state’s mask mandate in government buildings, but recommended that restaurants continue to require face coverings.

The latest revelation comes as federal health officials warn that Americans should continue to adhere to public health measures as the warmer summer months approach.

“You may remember a little over a year ago when we were looking for the summer to save ourselves from surges. It was just the opposite,” said White House Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Monday during a White House coronavirus briefing.

“We saw some significant waves over the summer. I think we shouldn’t even think about relying on the weather to get rid of whatever we’re in right now,” he added.

Fauci also said Monday that Americans should continue to receive both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, despite a recent study suggesting that only one dose might be enough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended that Americans continue to refrain from travel due to coronavirus cases across the country.

“We know we have a growing number of cases right now. I would speak out against general travel altogether,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky last week. “We do not currently recommend travel, especially for those who have not been vaccinated,” she added.