April 6 (UPI) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans Tuesday to lift the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on June 15 if certain conditions are met.
Newsom said the state will “fully open its economy” if vaccine supply is sufficient for those 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.
Newsom said he made the decision as the state has administered more than 20 million vaccine doses and hospitalizations are “continuing to steadily decline.”
“We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic,” he said. “We will need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that got us here — wearing masks and getting vaccinated — but the light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter.”
The entire state will move to the new phase as a whole on June 15, allowing businesses and other everyday activities to open with “common-sense risk reduction measures” including encouraging vaccinations and maintaining the state’s mask mandate.
The state will also continue to contact tracing practices as well as monitoring hospitalization rates, vaccine access and the efficacy of vaccines against virus variants.
California leads the nation in cases and deaths with 3,583,830 infections and 58,541 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
Last month Texas and Mississippi fully lifted restrictions on business and eliminated their states’ mask requirements.
California’s announcement comes as President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he will move the deadline for all states to make vaccines available to all residents up from May 1 to April 19.