What to know about California’s mask guidance when the state reopens

California officially reopens June 15 after more than a year of COVID-19-related restrictions, and the California Department of Public Health released Wednesday its updated mask guidelines for when the state lifts its color-tier system.

Residents who are vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks in most places, according to the health department’s new guidelines.

But those who haven’t received the coronavirus vaccine must keep wearing masks in most indoor settings, such as salons, restaurants and shops. Businesses will be allowed by the state to require face coverings or proof of vaccination.

But there still are certain situations where masks will be mandatory for everyone, according to the health department. These locations are:

•Public transit, including ride shares and buses

•Transportation hubs, including airports and bus stations

•Schools and child care centers

•Hospitals and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities

•Correctional and detention facilities

•Homeless shelters

•Emergency shelters and cooling centers


Workplaces also still require everyone to wear face masks indoors, but the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board still is debating what its requirements for work settings will be, the Associated Press recently reported. It’s unclear exactly what will change, but the board has said its guidance should align with the current public health recommendations.

There are a few exceptions to the mask requirement. That includes:

•Children younger than 2

•Those who are hearing impaired or are communicating with someone who is

•Those with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering

•People who have a job in which wearing a mask would be a risk

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