SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California will wait to lift its statewide face mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, the state announced Monday.
The updated rules are expected on June 15, which is when Gov. Newsom had said the state will fully reopen. Until June 15, all current reopening rules and mask policies will remain in place.
Dr. Mark Ghaly says they are waiting to give time for more people to become fully vaccinated. The state is still working through how to verify who is vaccinated and who isn’t.
“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings,” Ghaly said. “In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation and schools, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.”
A person is considered fully vaccinated once it has been two weeks since getting the second Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose, or two weeks since the one Johnson & Johnson dose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks inside most places.
It excludes crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Individual counties and businesses still have the right to keep mask mandates on a local level.
Some business owners in San Francisco say they’re worried about enforcing the new guidelines indoors when it’s not clear who is vaccinated.
The retailers which already dropped face mask requirements for fully vaccinated people are going by an honor system, not requiring proof of vaccination at the door.
Gov. Newsom had said on Friday that he doesn’t know how removing mask requirements would work in classrooms and workplaces.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Bay Area exceeds 440,000, while deaths near 6,000.
At last check, more than 8.2 million vaccines have been administered across the Bay Area.
Many other states lifted their mask requirements last week after the CDC said it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to skip face coverings and social distancing in most situations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.