On June 11, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued a State Public Health Officer Order and Governor Gavin Newsom issued two related Executive Orders rolling back COVID-19 restrictions.  More information on these orders and announcement can be found below.

  1. On June 11, 2021, the California Department of Health issued the State Public Health Officer Order of June 11, 2021, mandating limited and temporary health requirements as of June 15, 2021.  The order replaces the previous pandemic public health orders with limited requirements related to face coverings and mega events, as well as settings with children and youth, as follows:
    • Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks, except for in the following settings where masks are required for everyone:
      1. On public transit (including, but not limited to, airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (including, but not limited to, airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation));
      2. Indoors in K-12 Schools, childcare, and other youth settings* (*This may change as updated K-12 school guidance is provided by the CDC);
      3. Healthcare settings (including, but not limited to, Long terms care facilities);
      4. State and local correctional facilities and detention centers; and
      5. Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers.
    • Unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks and follow social distancing requirements in indoor public settings and businesses (including, but not limited to, retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

In settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to: (1) require all patrons to wear masks; (2) implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask; or (3) provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

There are exemptions from the mask-wearing mandate for individuals in the following limited circumstances:

      1. Children under the age of 2;
      2. Individuals with a medical conditions, including a mental health conditions or disabilities that prevents them from wearing masks (including, but not limited to, individuals with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance);
      3. Individuals who are hearing impaired, or communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired (where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication); or
      4. Individuals for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the individuals related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  1. On June 11, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order terminating the Stay-at-Home Order that was implemented in March 2020, and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Effective June 15, 2021, restrictions including physical distancing, capacity limits and the county tier system have ended.  The Emergency Declaration issued by Governor Newsom on March 4, 2020 will remain in place until further notice.
  2. While Governor Newsom terminated the Stay-at-Home Order on June 11, 2021, he issued another Executive Order identifying several provisions in 58 Executive Orders implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will remain in effect for the time being and expire in three phases (subject to certain conditions being met):  some orders on June 30, 2021; other orders on July 31, 2021; and the remaining orders on September 30, 2021.   that will remain in effect through June 30, 2021, at which time they will expire subject to the conditions detailed in the Executive Order.

Companies with operations and/or workers in California and questions about the applicability of the latest Public Health Officer Order or Executive Orders should contact experienced counsel.