California Governor Gavin Newsom signed executive orders (here and here) on Friday to lift emergency restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. As of June 15, restrictions including such as physical distancing and capacity limits will be lifted as cases and deaths from coronavirus continue to decrease.
Of the 58 Californian executive orders related to COVID-19, the state expects 90 percent to be lifted by September. These executive orders impact a wide array of industries, such as licensing requirements for hand sanitizer manufacturers.
As of June 9, more than half of California’s population has been fully vaccinated, with more than 40 million vaccines having been administered so far. Newsom hailed these efforts, stating, “[A]s a result of the effective actions Californians have taken, as well as the successful and ongoing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, California is turning a corner in its fight against COVID-19.”
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) also released updated guidelines for individuals. Per the new facial covering guidelines, masks are required on public transportation, in healthcare settings, detention and correctional facilities, and indoors in K-12 schools. Certain restrictions will continue to be imposed for mega-events, defined as any event with more than 5,000 people indoors or 10,000 people outdoors.
Tomás Aragón, director of the CDPH, has urged caution despite the positive news, stating, “We must remain vigilant against variants of the disease especially given high levels of transmission in other parts of the world and due to the possibility of vaccine escape.”