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“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy,” Newsom said in a statement. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. 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 this tunnel has never been brighter,” he added.
Newsom’s announcement comes a little more than a year after California, the nation’s most populous state, shut down its economy due to the unfolding health pandemic.
The state is also slated to end its four-tiered, color-coded system, which has been used to determine risk levels.
Last month, a slew of states across the nation relaxed restrictions to varying degrees.
Texas rolled back its mask mandate and allowed businesses to reopen at 100% capacity as of March 10. The Lone Star State also welcomed the nation’s first full-capacity sporting event with the Texas Rangers’ home opener Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays, which sold out with more than 38,000 fans sitting side by side.
Arizona’s governor also ended capacity limits on businesses but said they must still require masks.
Alabama’s governor said the state would lift its mask mandate after April 9. South Carolina lifted the state’s mask mandate in government buildings but recommended that restaurants continue to require face coverings.
“You might remember a little bit more than a year ago when we were looking for the summer to rescue us from surges. It was, in fact, the opposite,” the White House’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said during a coronavirus briefing Monday.
“We saw some substantial surges in the summer. I don’t think we should even think about relying on the weather to bail us out of anything we’re in right now,” he added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended that Americans continue to hold off from traveling due to coronavirus cases nationwide.
“We know that right now we have a surging number of cases. I would advocate against general travel overall,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week. “We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” she added.