LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Marking a milestone, California Tuesday lifted the vast majority of its coronavirus restrictions for the first time since the pandemic took hold 15 months ago.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the state ended the stay-at-home order and its four-tier, color-coded roadmap of restrictions on economic activity and public gatherings that was based on county coronavirus case rates and testing-positivity rates.
The state officially lifted all physical-distancing requirements and capacity restrictions at businesses and public gatherings. The result is that businesses can generally return to near-normal operations, including indoor bars and restaurants. Concerts can resume, along with full-capacity crowds at sporting events. Gyms and fitness centers can reopen indoors at full capacity as well.
The Abbey in West Hollywood held a special midnight countdown celebration to mark the official lifting of the restrictions.
The famous Langer’s Deli in Westlake has only been doing takeout and delivery for the past 469 days. They will have customers dining inside for the first time since March of 2020. Langer’s is holding a special ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning with L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer and LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
Meanwhile, masks will still be required in certain settings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Those include:
- On public transit, including airplanes, ships, trains, buses, taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, and in transportation hubs such as airports, but terminals, train stations, seaports, marinas and subway stations.
- Indoors at K-12 schools, child-care facilities and other youth settings.
- Health-care settings, including long-term care facilities.
- At state and local correctional facilities and detention centers.
- At homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers.
Mask-wearing will also remain a requirement for unvaccinated people in some indoor settings, including in retail stores, restaurants, theaters, movie theaters, family entertainment centers and government offices serving the public.
Business and event-venue operators can choose how to enforce those rules. Their options are:
- An honor system. Publicly post rules regarding mask-wearing and allow customers and visitors to “self-attest” that they are vaccinated.
- They can “implement a vaccine-verification system to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
- They can simply require all patrons to wear a mask.
“We’ll just be monitoring it, if someone looks unruly, we have the right, businesses do have the right to see vaccinations,” David Cooley, owner of The Abbey, told CBSLA Tuesday.
Good morning California.
It’s reopening day.
We’ve administered over 40 million vaccines.
No more social distancing.
No more capacity limits.
No more colors or county tiers.
And if you’re vaccinated—no more masks.
It’s a good day.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 15, 2021
For at least a couple more days, mask-wearing will remain mandatory for workers in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. On Thursday, the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is set to consider revised workplace mask-wearing guidance, which would generally align with the state’s rules for the public at large. The rules would require businesses to verify workers’ vaccination status and make masks available to unvaccinated workers, who must wear face coverings in the workplace. Vaccinated workers would not be required to wear masks in the workplace under the proposed rules.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to hold a news conference at Universal Studios Hollywood at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the reopening.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)