California’s Full-Capacity Reopening

Monday: Social distancing and other restrictions that have defined life in the pandemic will disappear on June 15, state health officials said.

By Manny Fernandez

Good morning.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last month that California would fully reopen its economy in June if Covid-19 hospitalizations stayed low and the vaccine supply remained high. But it was never clear what fully reopened meant exactly.

On Friday, state health officials provided some specifics.

In just three weeks, on June 15, California, the most populous state in the country, will return to the closest thing to normal since the pandemic began.

There are a few caveats and exceptions, mostly for large indoor and outdoor events. But the memo-style guidelines issued by the state’s Department of Public Health on Friday used a bit of dry, bureaucratic lingo — “all sectors listed in the current Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may return to usual operations” — to herald the start of post-pandemic California.

Here are a few highlights.

Capacity limits

One of the hallmarks of the pandemic — the line of people standing outside a gym, shop or grocery store because of capacity limits — will soon be a thing of the past.

Various businesses and establishments have been dealing with capacity restrictions for months, including movie theaters, bars, restaurants and places of worship. But those limits will lift on June 15, as the state ends its color-coded system of pandemic restrictions that have been loosened or tightened depending on the spread of the virus in each county.

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