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California to lift pandemic restrictions on June 15, allowing restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other businesses to fully open

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/6/2021 mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com (Mary Meisenzahl)
a group of people sitting in a chair talking on the phone: A waitress takes customers' orders in the outdoor seating area of a restaurant on January 28, 2021 in Los Angeles. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider A waitress takes customers' orders in the outdoor seating area of a restaurant on January 28, 2021 in Los Angeles. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images
  • California plans to lift many of its COVID-19 restrictions on June 15.
  • California has some of the strictest pandemic measures in the country.
  • Officials say many people in the state will be vaccinated by that date.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

California will lift COVID-19 restrictions for workplaces and businesses on June 15, state officials said Tuesday, while a mask mandate will remain in effect.

California officials said enough people will likely be vaccinated by the mid-June date that most aspects of life can return to a pre-pandemic normal, as long as vaccine availability remains high and hospitalizations don't increase too much. All adults in California are eligible to be vaccinated beginning April 15.

"With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California's economy. We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

Mark Ghaly, Health and Human Services Secretary, said "This means the end to our color-coded tiers. We can go to movies to the beach and see family." Restrictions will be lifted on most businesses, with the exception of large events like conventions.


Video: Calif. plans to lift most virus restrictions June 15 (Associated Press)

According to the state's COVID tracking dashboard, California has had over 3.5 million cases and 58,000 deaths, including 7 deaths just today. More than 20 million doses have been given out, giving hope for a possible end of restrictions after more than a year of capacity limits.

California had some of the strictest restrictions, even as other states began to open in the first months of 2021. The state was operating under a tiered, color-coded system that limited capacity at movie theaters, restaurants, churches, gyms, and other public facing buildings.

Mark Ghaly, Health and Human Services Secretary, said "This means the end to our color-coded tiers. We can go to movies to the beach and see family." Restrictions will be lifted on most businesses, with the exception of large events like conventions.

California is one of the last states to open, according to The New York Times. As of April 6, all but six states have businesses "mostly open."

The two month notice ahead of reopening should give most people time to schedule vaccine appointments, and for businesses to prepare, Ghaly said.

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