Restaurants in California will be free to operate almost as they did in pre-pandemic days starting June 15 if the state continues to meet two key indications that it is keeping COVID-19 in check, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. "We are seeing the bright light at the end of the tunnel, and on June 15, all things being equal - continue that good work - we'll have moved beyond the blueprint and we'll be opening up this economy and business as usual". Orange tier rules also allow up to 67 percent of the seats at Petco Park to be put in play if all fans occupying them have either been fully vaccinated or have tested negative for coronavirus.
Now, the new plan says businesses can open with "common-sense risk reduction measures" such as wearing masks and encouraging vaccinations.
And Newsom said masks were "the most powerful non-pharmaceutical intervention we can have".
The reopening date could change based on case rates, hospitalizations and vaccine efficacy, officials said.More news: AstraZeneca vaccine linked to rare blood clots, says EMA official
California has been praised for its vaccine distribution - at 20 million doses, it has vaccinated 7.2 million more people than any other state.
Most capacity limits will be lifted, although large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed only with testing or vaccination verification requirements, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the secretary of health and human services.
The state's mask mandate will remain in effect.
Already receiving more than 2 million doses per week, Newsom said the June 15 sunset of the tier system is a signal that the vaccine supply chain will become even more robust in May. According to a statement made Tuesday morning, April 6, by Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego's public health officer, the region's latest weekly score came in at 5.8 in Tuesday's report from the California Department of Public Health, though the full statewide report had not yet been released.More news: Jordan says Prince Hamzah's circle aimed to destabilize security
"With all of that, we are at the stage where we're ready to consider the next aspect of our pandemic response, " Ghaly said.
While the number of hospitalizations is low across the state - with 20 patients now hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Francisco, for example - Ghaly said there is a race between vaccines and variants, and urged the public to take public health precautions like wearing a mask and signing up for the vaccine once eligible.
California reported the lowest positivity rate in the country at 1.7%, far from its peak of 17.1% in early January when the state was reeling from a post-holiday surge.
"We are announcing today that on June 15, we will be moving beyond the blueprint and we will be getting rid of the colored tiers". The state is now using October 1st as a benchmark when more, large-scale events may be able to operate without restriction. "In addition, all schools and universities would be re-opened for in-person instruction".More news: Amid wastewater overflow threat, Florida officials urge residents to heed evacuation orders