STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN
Fully vaccinated Californians no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in most settings, in a dramatic ease of state COVID-19 restrictions.
The relaxed health restrictions — which effectively fully reopen the economy by lifting capacity restrictions on businesses, and scrapping the color tier system that dictated restrictions in counties — has been planned since April.
Exceptions to the no mask policy include when on public transit, indoors in K–12 schools and childcare settings, healthcare facilities and homeless shelters. The state has indicated that it will align K–12 safety restrictions with pending guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which could include a lift on masking and social distancing requirements for certain ages.
Unvaccinated individuals are expected to follow previous state COVID-19 safety restrictions which include wearing masks indoors and socially distancing.
The state has also lifted its travel advisory, which had previously discouraged Californians from traveling outside of their local region.
As per usual, local health officers are permitted to implement tighter restrictions, but Santa Clara County health officials have fallen in line with the state’s mandates.