Newsom Announces Tentative Reopening Plans for California on June 15

Apr 07, 2021

On April 6, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that if California is able to maintain stable and low hospitalization rates and a sufficient vaccine supply, the state’s economy will fully reopen on June 15, 2021.

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While risk reduction measures such as contact-tracing, vaccination programs, and the statewide mask mandate will remain in place, California is now scheduled to move past the tiered reopening system under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy program to fully reopen the economy.

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California and COVID-19: Conditions for Reopening

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As of April 6, 2021, over 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in California, and over 30% of the state’s population is at least partially inoculated.1 As the state’s immunization rates remain far below the estimated thresholds for herd immunity, all industries will be permitted to reopen on June 15, 2021 with common sense risk reduction measures such as vaccinations and required masking.

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According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the state’s reopening schedule hinges on the following two conditions:

  • 1. Equitable vaccine availability: If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years or older who wish to be inoculated, and
  • 2. Consistently low burden of disease: Hospitalizations are stable and low, and specifically, hospitalizations among fully vaccinated individuals are low.

The CDPH notes that these criteria will only be met if vaccination rates stay high, the vaccines remain effective against variants, and individuals continue taking precautions such as masking. California will continue monitoring hospitalization and vaccine access rates, as well as updated information on vaccine efficacy against variants, and, if necessary, adjust the June 15 reopening date.

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What will a “full reopening” of California’s economy look like?

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As the state’s economy fully reopens, “common-sense” public health policies, such as vaccination, testing, contact tracing, and required masking programs, will remain in effect. All sectors listed by California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy program will be able to return to normal operations, in compliance with Cal/OSHA’s emergency standards and other applicable statewide guidelines. Public health restrictions, such as testing, masking, and testing or vaccination verification requirements for large, high-risk events such as concerts and festivals, will still apply.

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Workplaces

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Employers should promote policies in the workplace that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as improving indoor ventilation and requiring mask wearing in indoor and other high-risk settings. Additionally, when it is possible without impacting business operations, employers are encouraged to allow remote work.

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Conventions

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Conventions will be limited to 5,000 attendees until October 1, 2021, unless the testing or vaccination status is verified for all attendees. International convention attendees may only attend if they are fully vaccinated.

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Educational Institutions

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The CDPH indicates that schools and higher education institutions should conduct full-time, in person instruction, in compliance with Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standards and other public health guidelines.

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Travelers

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Travelers and Californians in general will remain subject to CPDH and CDC travel restrictions.

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California will also be required to continue maintaining and updating its vaccination, testing, monitoring, hospital, and other public health and medical infrastructure.

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Resources for California Employers

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Find out more about Cal/OSHA’s temporary COVID-19 prevention standards here and the California DFEH’s COVID-19 related guidance here, and stay tuned for updated guidance from these and other California statewide regulatory organizations.

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Find Governor Newsom’s full press release here.

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Find the California Department of Public Health’s announcement here.

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If you have questions regarding the upcoming reopening of California’s economy, please contact one of the following attorneys in The Maloney Firm’s Employment Law Department: Patrick MaloneyLisa Von EschenSamantha Botros, or Nicholas Grether.


[1] https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#California-vaccines-dashboard


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