CDPH Confirms California’s June 15 Reopening Date and Updates Guidance

May 26, 2021

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On May 21, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance for moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, confirming the State’s June 15 reopening date. Amongst the most significant changes is the withdrawal of physical distancing and capacity limit requirements in all settings. California businesses will still be subject to Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (expected to be revised on June 3, 2021), and potentially more stringent local requirements.

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Restrictions

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When the state progresses past the Blueprint on June 15, 2021, most COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the State of California will be lifted. Certain limitations will stay in place for “mega events,” as noted below.

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Capacity Limitations and Physical Distancing

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All physical distancing requirements and capacity limitations in both indoor and outdoor settings will be lifted, meaning that businesses across all sectors may choose to open at full capacity.

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Masking

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Individuals will be required to follow the updated CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings, which is aligned with CDC guidance and differs for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

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Vaccine Verification and Negative Testing

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Although businesses (and local governments) may still impose their own requirements, California will not mandate vaccine verification or negative testing requirements for any activities (with the exception of some mega events).

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Traveling

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Although all restrictions on travel outside of California will ostensibly be lifted, the CDPH notes that travelers must adhere to CDC recommendations and CDPH travel restrictions.

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Exceptions for Indoor/Outdoor Mega Events

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Mega events are broadly defined as “planned public or social occasions that include over 5,000 participants or spectators indoors and over 10,000 outdoors.” Different restrictions will apply for indoor and outdoor mega events. Requirements and recommendations for negative testing/vaccine verification will be in place effective June 15, 2021 through October 1, 2021, with the option to extend them further.

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For indoor mega events, attendees will be required to verify their fully vaccinated status or pre-entry negative test results. For more information on acceptable verification methods and acceptable testing requirements, navigate to the CDPH guidance’s footnotes. For more information on who is considered “fully vaccinated” by the CDPH, click here.

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For outdoor mega events, verification of vaccination or pre-entry negative test results is strongly recommended, but not required, for all attendees. Outdoor venues will be required to make masks available for all attendees.

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In addition to general public health recommendations, all mega events must also adhere to notice/communications and masking requirements imposed by the CDPH. Information must be prominently placed on all communications, including the reservation and ticketing systems, to ensure guests are aware of the applicable recommendations and requirements set out by the CDPH.

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Potentially More Stringent Precautions

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Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards

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The California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board is scheduled to release a proposal to update the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) on May 28, 2021, and will likely reconvene to vote on these revisions on June 3, 2021. In the meantime, employers are still subject to the November 2020 ETS.

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Local Laws

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Businesses may still be subject to more stringent restrictions posed by individual cities and counties, and should monitor local guidance.

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Resources for California Employers

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View the CDPH’s Beyond the Blueprint announcement here.

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View the CDPH’s Beyond the Blueprint Q&A here.

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As California’s targeted reopening date on June 15, 2021 fast approaches, employers should stay tuned for newly updated guidance from Cal/OSHA and other regulatory agencies. If you have questions regarding the CDPH or Cal/OSHA’s updated guidance, please contact one of the following attorneys in The Maloney Firm’s Employment Law Department: Patrick MaloneyLisa Von EschenSamantha Botros, or Nicholas Grether.


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