California officially reopens on Tuesday, June 15 after over a year of restrictions and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So you can ditch your masks right? Not so fast.
Those fully vaccinated will be allowed to do almost everything they did pre-pandemic without wearing a mask including grocery shopping, drinking at a bar, and going to the gym.
If you're not vaccinated, you should wear a mask, but how will we know who is vaccinated and who is not? The state is working on best practices for businesses, but trust will play a big part.
That said, there are still situations and places where masks will be required regardless of vaccination status. It all can be a bit confusing, so we've broken down the rules below.
Masks still required in the following places in California:
Any form of public transportation (think commuter buses and railroad systems) including airports and planes. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended their mask requirement through September 13, 2021. So yes, you will be required to wear a mask while at any airport, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not.
Hospitals: Even if you are fully vaccinated, you are still required to wear a mask in healthcare settings like hospitals. When the new mask guidance for vaccinated individuals was released, the American Hospital Association (AHA) asked for a clarification to which the CDC emphasized that new masking recommendations for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not apply to health care settings.
Prisons and homeless shelters: In accordance with CDC guidance, masks will still be required in correctional and detention facilities as well as homeless shelters.
Indoor workplaces (with one important exception): Last Thursday, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved controversial rules that will require masks to stay on in the workplace for the time being. The exception? Workers can go maskless only if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Masks strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals (but not required):
Some grocery and big box stores like Target are still "strongly recommending" masks for unvaccinated individuals, but they are not required.
Additional information you should know regarding mega events:
Indoor mega events (examples: NBA games, Staples Center events, or any other indoor conventions, conferences, expos or concerts)
Verification of fully vaccinated status or pre-entry negative test result will be required of all attendees. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not be admitted to the event or venue.
Outdoor mega events (examples: MLB games at Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl concerts or any music or food festivals, car shows, marathons, etc.)
Verification of fully vaccinated status or pre-entry negative test result will be strongly recommended for all attendees per state guidance, but not required. However, if you are not fully vaccinated nor have a pre-entry negative COVID-19 test, you will still be admitted to the event as long as you wear a mask.