Summer is off to a great start in California as the state lifts most of its COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday. Museums, theme parks and ball games have returned and, as of today, businesses are lifting capacity limits and discontinuing social distancing rules.
Thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines and the welcome reduction in coronavirus case numbers, from June 15, businesses across California can resume usual operations. That means the return of indoor dining, museums, movie theaters and dance floors, with businesses increasing capacity limits to pre-COVID times and removing social distancing rules.
A new health order will remove the need for vaccinated people to wear masks in most places across California, as per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Masks are still required on public transport, and in schools and hospitals. And mask requirements remain in place for non-vaccinated people.
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Theme parks like Disneyland are increasing attendance and removing social distancing markers but continuing with advance reservations. It comes as Disneyland opens its Marvel-themed Avengers Campus for the first time and welcomes back out-of-state visitors to its resort hotels.
Most festivals are returning to the Golden State with in-person attendance, and some are offering a combination of in-person and online events such as the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in Sonoma, which will be held outdoors mainly, with some virtual concerts too. San Francisco's famed jazz festival, however, will remain online this month.
While most COVID-19 public health measures have been scrapped, some rules will continue for large events with 5000 or more people indoors, or 10,000 attendees outdoors, with guests required or recommended to show vaccination certificates to attend.
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As the state reopens, the government is launching a new prize draw to encourage residents to spend their vacation in California to boost the recovery. Californians aged 18 or older who are at least partially vaccinated will have the chance to win a vacation package for two or four people to Californian cities, including Anaheim, Greater Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco with travel expenses covered.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday ahead of the state's reopening, Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California said, "this state has so much to offer, and this week marks the beginning of a new era where we can recapture the life-affirming freedom of travel in California particularly, where all dreams are welcome."