On June 15, all industries in California will be able to return to “usual operations,” according to an announcement by the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.
The state, Governor Newsom said, would only fully reopen if two criteria are met:
- Equitable vaccine availability: If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years or older who wish to be inoculated; and
- Consistently low burden of disease: Hospitalizations are stable and low, and specifically, hospitalizations among fully vaccinated individuals are low.
When the state reopens, “common-sense health measures,” such as masking will remain in effect, while “testing or vaccination verification requirements will remain in relevant settings.”
On the reopening plan, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow said, “The governor’s reopening plan is tremendous news for some of the hardest-hit areas of the economy, especially the conventions and large meetings sector that has been completely shut down for 14 months.
“It is fully possible to safely hold conventions and large meetings while observing prescribed health standards and practices, and California’s new guidance allowing such gatherings up to 5,000 people is in full agreement with current science and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] assessment that it is safe for vaccinated individuals to travel. Other states should follow this example of a science-driven reopening, especially as more and more Americans get vaccinated."
Dow added, however: “We do have concerns about the new guidance’s mandate that international convention attendees be vaccinated. While the travel industry strongly encourages everyone to be vaccinated as the most effective path to a full economic reopening, a vaccination should not be a requirement to travel—and is unnecessary in this case because of the CDC’s current mandate that international visitors have a negative COVID test.
“On balance, California’s reopening guidance is a major step in the right direction that is a boon for the economy and guided by science.”