California is fully reopening on June 15. Here’s what that means for you

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An “open” sign is seen with downtown Los Angeles in the background. Photo by Elliott Cowand Jr/Shutterstock.

Today California officials laid out new rules — or lack of them — for what reopening on June 15 means. Life will look a lot different than what we’ve been experiencing for well over a year, and it’s thanks to steadily low coronavirus metrics and sufficient  vaccinations. The state has administered nearly 35.5 million doses of the vaccine.

“We’re at a place with this pandemic where those requirements of the past are no longer needed for the foreseeable future,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a press call. 

Here’s what you can expect when the state lifts its color-coded tier system known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. 

Grocery stores

No more social distancing requirements will be enforced at grocery stores. Photo by Shutterstock. 

The state will lift all physical distancing requirements and capacity limits. Private establishments can keep these measures if they want. “I do think that there will be some businesses that decide to require some level of verification of vaccination,” said Ghaly.

While counties are allowed to be more restrictive than the state, LA County has announced they will be aligning with the state’s rules.

Packed stadiums and concert venues

For massive outdoor events, like a game at Dodger Stadium, attendees are recommended to show a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination. Photo by Shutterstock. 

Under the rules, stadiums and concert venues will be able to bring in as many guests as they can usually fit. However, there are different restrictions for so-called “mega events,” which are characterized by 5,000 or more attendees indoors or more than 10,000 people outdoors. 

For massive outdoor events, like a game at Dodgers Stadium or a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, it is recommended (but not required) that attendees verify they are COVID-free through a negative test or proof of full vaccination.  

It’s a different story for indoor mega events. If you go to a concert at the Forum or Staples Center, which both have capacity limits well over 5,000, you must have proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test. 

The jury is still out on how Californians will need to show vaccine verification. The state says there will be no state-operated “vaccine passport” program and that it could be “self-attestation.” More details on how that would work are expected to come from authorities.


Rules for workplaces will be released later by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Photo by Shutterstock.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, will develop safety rules for workplaces. They’re expected to update guidance after another meeting next month. Otherwise, the state says most employers are still subject to Cal/OSHA standards

Goodbye masks (for some)

California will align with the CDC’s rules that say fully vaccinated people can do away with masks in most indoor settings. Photo by Shutterstock.

The state will largely align with the CDC’s guidance on wearing masks. That means if you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask in most indoor settings. There are some restrictions, including crowded indoor places like public transportation, hospitals and prisons. Of course, each private business has the option to enforce masks if they choose.

The state will also follow CDC recommendations on traveling, both domestically and overseas. That means travel won’t be discouraged in most situations unless it is to a country with a travel advisory. “What we expect to see potentially is different parts of our globe that have severe outbreaks may have some restrictions and prohibitions on travelers coming into the country, and we will follow those according to the CDC,” said Ghaly. 

People returning to California will also no longer need to voluntarily quarantine. 

Effective dates and possibly more changes 

These restrictions will be effective June 15, 2021 through October 1, 2021. The state says they will reassess conditions by September 1, 2021 to see if updates need to be made. If we do see a spike after June 15, officials can decide whether to roll back any of the changes.



Matt Guilhem


Tara Atrian