For pretty much every state in the US, the past year has been a miserable one. Businesses have been forced to close, livelihoods have been lost and travel plans decimated by the pandemic. Yet whilst the past has been tough, the future is looking brighter, with happy times on the horizon and normality just around the corner.
That’s certainly the case for California, which is set to reopen after more than a year of coronavirus-related closures for the first time on June 15th. Here’s everything travelers need to know about its reopening.
Why Is California Set To Reopen?
California’s governor Gavin Newsome gave hope to millions of Californians by announcing the state planned to reopen in mid-June. There are two specific conditions that need to be met in order for California to open on June 15th. The conditions are:
- A sufficient supply of Covid-19 vaccinations to inoculate all those who are eligible and willing
- Stable, low numbers of people hospitalized as a result of Covid-19
The June 15th reopening date therefore is no guarantee, as any Covid-related hiccups prior to that date could see those conditions not being met and the date for reopening pushed back as a result. However, with more than 20 million doses of the vaccine administered already and infection rates that are amongst the lowest in the country, it looks as if California will hit its mid-June target.
Speaking about the reopening, Newsome said:
“If we’re vigilant, if we don’t spike the ball, if we don’t announce mission accomplished, and continue to do the good work that we’ve done — that by June 15 we’ll be beyond that blueprint and we’ll be back to a sense of normalcy.”
What Will Change? Information For Travelers
The planned reopening will see an end to California’s four-tiered system, which dictated which businesses could and could not open depending on the virus’ prevalence in a county. Under the reopening, businesses may open with “common-sense” public health policies in place, whilst schools and higher education institutions will open full-time, with in-person instruction. The move would be a welcome relief to Californian businesses, who have struggled without customers for months and will be a step towards normality.
There will also be changes to travel in the state. Whilst still warning against nonessential travel, the state has lifted its advisory on Californians not going further than 120 miles from their homes. California is also discouraging people from visiting from out of the state, asking that travelers get tested three to five days after arrival and self-isolate for a full seven days after travel. The state also maintains that travelers should follow CDC guidance, as well as getting tested one to three days prior to traveling.
Whilst staying at home is the official advice, the CDC recently revealed that vaccinated people are able to safe to travel both domestically and abroad, at low risk to themselves. With more than 7 million Californians fully vaccinated, travel might be back on the menu this summer in the state.
Mask Mandate Remains – Information For Travelers
Whilst several restrictions are set to be eased in June, one such restriction that won’t be dropped is the mask mandate. Speaking about the wearing of masks, Governor Newsome said:
“We think it’s incredibly important. It’s the most powerful and important non-pharmaceutical intervention we can do to mitigate the spread of this disease.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories