coronavirus pandemic

June 15 Bay Area Reopening: Frequently Asked Questions

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What exactly is changing starting June 15?

In most settings, there are no more capacity limits for businesses or for most types of gatherings. The same thing goes for physical distancing which will no longer be required. However, individual businesses can set their own capacity limits, but they won't be under any limits imposed by the state.

Fully vaccinated people will be able to take off their masks in most indoor settings, including stores and restaurants. Unvaccinated people, including those too young to qualify for the vaccine, are still required to mask up at all indoor businesses.

Will Bay Area counties follow different guidance from the state?

This is a very common question and the answers can sometimes be confusing. We've broken out guidance by Bay Area county on a separate page so you can check specific recommendations for the area you live or work in.

Will you still have to wear a mask and practice social distancing?

Yes and no, depending on the situation and what your county's current health order allows. The state will align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says fully vaccinated people can resume activities without having to wear a mask or physically distancing.

The rules change for so-called mega events -- more on this later. And masks will still be required in airports, airplanes, buses, trains and transit stations. Add schools to that list too where masks will still be required.

Will I have to wear a mask at work?

For employees, if you work indoors, you may still be required to wear masks.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) on Thursday, two days after the state reopened, approved revised worksite pandemic rules allowing fully vaccinated employees to go mask-free inside their place of work. Keep in mind that for many companies it is an honor system. If you say you're vaccinated, no mask -- no proof required.

However, you must remember that your workplace has the option of requiring you to wear a mask, if they so choose, regardless of what the state says. Cal/OSHA has revised workplace standards on mask coverings on more than one occasion, so check their website for latest guidance.

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can ditch the face coverings. However, the California mask mandate won't change until the state officially reopens on June 15, 2021. We show you when you'll need to mask up in the Bay Area and California until then. If you're fully vaccinated, check out how the mask guidelines change for you after California reopens on June 15.

What places do we know that are still requiring masks?

There are some places that you will have to wear your mask, whether you're masked or not, and those include: public transportation such as BART, Muni, Caltrans, airports, Uber and Lyft rideshare vehicles, hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, nursing homes and schools.

What are the rules about attending large entertainment events, aka a "mega event"?

Any event with large crowds more than 5,000 people indoors and 10,000 attendees outdoors is considered a mega event, which keeps some COVID restrictions due to the higher risk for transmission.

Indoor mega events will require attendees to verify they are fully vaccinated or have a pre-entry negative test. Attendees will also have to follow state's guidance for face coverings.

The same guidance follows for outdoor mega events like sporting events or a music festival, with the major difference being vaccine verification or negative testing is recommended, not required, to attend. The state provides additional recommendations for sponsors of mega events.

What changes will I see at amusement parks?

California's Great America in Santa Clara will open for the first time in 15 months on June 15 and will do so with no capacity restrictions, meaning roller coasters can be fully loaded and visitors will not be asked to stand 6 feet apart.

But before planning a trip to the amusement park, visitors will be asked to make a reservation online. In addition, attendees will have to attest they understand California's new COVID guidelines.

After 15 months of shutdowns during the pandemic, California is fully opening the economy on June 15, including mega events like concerts and sporting events— but there will be some restrictions. Here’s what you need to know.

What's the latest on schools and students returning to classrooms?

Bay Area health officers collectively signed off on a recommendation for schools to open for full-time, in-person learning in the fall. A host of Bay Area county superintendents (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara) also announced their support for students to return to the classes in the fall.

The state says school masking guidance remains in place and masks are required.

When will masks no longer be required at schools?

That still isn't clear. The mask mandates for grades K-12 are still in place. The state public health department says it will update its guidelines likely sometime this month.

Will masks be required at community colleges and universities?

This is still up in the air. The University of California says that while in-person classes will resume this fall, safety measures will be announced as campuses continue to work with their local public health agencies. The California community college system, which has 116 schools across state, says they're also working to answer that question.

Any rules surrounding travel?

The state says to follow CDC recommendations and any current California Department of Health travel advisory.

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