On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will reopen its economy on June 15 if two criteria are met:
- Vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians aged 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated.
- Hospitalization rates are stable and low.
Business and industry sectors will be allowed to return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and other common-sense public health policies, such as requiring testing and mask wearing. Large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed to occur with testing or vaccination verification requirements,” according to the announcement.
It is unclear from today’s announcement whether Newsom will support counties and municipalities wishing to maintain tighter restrictions.
If the June 15 criteria are met, Newsom plans to terminate the state’s four-tiered Blueprint for a Safer Economy and reopen all sectors listed in the Blueprint at the same time.
Newsom intends to continue contact tracing and testing to help detect cases early and contain the spread of the virus, and plans to closely monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants to make sure the state is still making progress. He also reserved the “option” to revisit the June 15 reopening date if these and other measures suggest it is necessary.
Newsom attributes the reopening to California’s steady decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and its administration of over 20 million vaccine doses, including over 4 million to individuals in the state’s hardest-hit communities. The state Department of Public Health had previously announced that once the state met its goal with regard to those 4 million doses, thresholds for counties to move into less restrictive tiers in the current Blueprint would be eased.