Reopening California

California Reopens What the COVID-19 Pandemic Closed. What's Changing?

On June 15, California is dropping the tier system and shedding most of its pandemic restrictions, in a return to near pre-pandemic levels of activity across the state.

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On June 15, California is moving "Beyond the Blueprint" of the color-coded tier system and shedding most of its pandemic restrictions, in a highly anticipated return to almost-normal life.

But with a few mask requirements still in place, ongoing vaccination efforts, and some venues still operating with safety limitations in place, what exactly will change when California reopens?

What Changes From the Yellow Tier on June 15?

On June 15, the state of California is no longer requiring the enforcement of capacity limits in businesses and most other locations. Operations are, mostly, able to return to normal.

That's in contrast to the limits in place with the tier system, which, even under the least restrictive yellow tier, put in place modifications for businesses to operate safely and limited the number of people who could attend indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Click here for the full interactive experience with the map above.

On Tuesday, the tier system will be put to rest, and life for businesses can continue without physical distancing requirements for attendees, customers and guests, and without mask requirements for vaccinated people in many situations.

Fully vaccinated people will not be required to mask up — with a few exceptions — and vaccine verification or a negative COVID-19 test will only be required by the state for a venue to operate under certain, crowded, circumstances.

Click here to track COVID-19 vaccinations in California's 58 counties.

However, businesses can still make their own decisions about how to check that customers are vaccinated or not.

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, there are three options for business owners and event-venue operators.

  • Businesses and venues can publicly post rules regarding mask-wearing and allow visitors to self-attest that they are vaccinated.
  • Businesses can implement a vaccine-verification system to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • Businesses can simply require all patrons to wear a mask.

This means it may be a good idea to hold onto masks for just a bit longer. There may still be signs requiring masks indoors around SoCal for some time — it's up to the individual location to decide what goes.

What Restrictions Are Still in Place After June 15?

When attending crowded outdoor "mega events" that draw more than 5,000 visitors indoors or over 10,000 visitors outdoors, fully vaccinated people must still wear masks. Those events include live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events or other similar settings.

After 15 months of shutdowns during the pandemic, California is fully opening the economy on June 15, including mega events like concerts and sporting events— but there will be some restrictions. Here’s what you need to know.

Venues for indoor mega events must require attendees to show proof of vaccination or the results of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.

That can be a photo of your vaccination card or the actual thing; documentation from your health care provider that says you've been vaccinated; or a printed or emailed result from a COVID-19 test that includes your name, the type of COVID-19 test performed, the date the test was taken and a negative result.

Outdoor mega events are not required to check vaccination status the same way indoor mega events are, but they are highly encouraged to do so.

Unvaccinated people will also still be required to wear masks in regular, indoor public settings and businesses, according to the state's guidelines for the use of masks after June 15.

That means unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 in retail locations, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, and state and local government offices serving the public.

All individuals, vaccinated or not, will still be required to wear masks:

  • on public transit,
  • in K-12 schools and childcare settings,
  • in healthcare settings,
  • at correctional facilities and in detention centers, and
  • in homeless and emergency shelters and cooling centers.

Those requirements for all individuals follow federal-level CDC guidance.

There's also been some conflicting rules from the state and from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the workplace safety regulators, on whether workers are required to stay masked and to social distance regardless of vaccination status.

Gov. Newsom said Friday that he expects consistent mask rules for employees in the near future, and on Thursday, June 17, the Cal/OSHA Board will consider the latest revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards during their regular meeting.

What's reopening on or after June 15 in SoCal?

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Coach Alex Burg of the Texas Rangers throws the baseball during eighth annual LGBTQ+ Night prior to start of a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium will return to full capacity for a 7:10 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 15. The first 25,000 fans who attend will receive a Justin Turner bobblehead, and the players will wear the gold-trimmed jerseys they typically wear on Opening Day.

Special Reopening Day ceremonies will include Brad Paisley performing the anthem and the ESPYs celebrating the club’s 2020 World Championship.

Employees will still wear masks, and the LA County of Public Health recommends that all unvaccinated fans continue to do so as well unless they are actively eating or drinking.

Disneyland, which reopened to a limited number of in-state visitors on April 30 along with Disneyland California Adventure, will welcome back visitors from outside California on June 15.

In the May 26 announcement of that reopening, the resort said "all guests will be required to wear an approved face covering throughout their visit."

AaronP | Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images
Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort reopened for outdoor dining and shopping on April 11, 2021 in Anaheim, California.

LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy will reopen to full-capacity crowds on Saturday, June 19, during a match against the Seattle Sounders FC.

Dignity Health Sports Park General Manager Katie Pandolfo said in a statement, “As we return to a full stadium, we will continue to follow and adhere to all health measures to ensure the safety of our guests to create an unparalleled experience.”

LA Football Club
LA Football Club will also welcome full-capacity crowds back on June 19, when they play the Houston Dynamo FC at Banc of California Stadium.

In a statement, LAFC said "all tickets sold will continue to be subject to any capacity limitations or attendance restrictions that may be established by state, county, or city authorities at any time."

LA County Diocese
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez announced on Monday the special dispensation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation will be lifted in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Los Angeles, "except for those who are ill, have underlying health conditions or have significant concerns about becoming ill."

“And so, on June 19 and 20, I encourage the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to return to in-person Sunday Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments, especially for those who are in good health," he said in a statement. The Diocese will fully reopen June 19.

Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall will host live concerts by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra beginning June 26, to limited audience of fully-vaccinated, "LACO-invited friends and family, vital community partners and others who have helped the Orchestra weather the pandemic," the orchestra said in a statement.

The LACO will be the first ensemble to perform at the concert hall since the pandemic closed it over a year ago. A limited number of fully-vaccinated people can enter a ticket giveaway here.

Getty Images
A general view of the Hollywood Bowl grand entrance after the 'Safer at Home' emergency order was issued by L.A. authorities amid the ongoing threat of the coronavirus outbreak on March 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl announced June 1 that it will welcome back full-capacity crowds when the season starts on July 3.

In a statement, the Los Angeles Philharmonic said, "All attendees who can are encouraged to get vaccinated."

Greek Theatre
The Greek Theatre reopened on May 30 with a performance from Madness with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Ticket are on sale now for the theater's next event, a performance by Joe Bonamassa on Aug. 1.

In a note on the webpage, the theater states "this event and any scheduled event dates are subject to existing State of California, County and City Health Mandates regarding venue capacity and safety protocols for implementation of safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic."


Click here to look at the reopening dates for more locations.

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