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California to fully reopen June 15 if state meets specific criteria, governor says

California plans its reopening
California plans its reopening 03:36

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that as long as the Golden State meets two specific criteria, California will fully reopen its economy on June 15. The state must keep the COVID-19 vaccine supply sufficient for everyone 16 and older who wishes to be inoculated and keep hospitalization stable and low, CBS Sacramento reports.

The Democratic governor also said there were no plans to lift the mask mandate at this time.

In a statement, Newsom said it was "time to turn the page" to the next step after COVID-19 with more than 20 million vaccines already administered in California.

"Everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures," the governor's office said in a statement.

"We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Newsom said in the statement. "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."

If and when California fully reopens, the state's color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy will come to an end.

State officials say they will continue to monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and the vaccines' efficacy against COVID-19.

The California Chamber of Commerce applauded Newsom's announcement about fully reopening.

"The diligent efforts of all Californians to follow COVID-19 safety protocols will pay off on June 15th. Californians should be congratulated for their sacrifices and patience in working to protect public health," Allen Zaremberg, the chamber's CEO, said in a statement.

Health leaders stress that people need to continue to take steps to stop the spread.

"In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine," California's Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a statement.

California plans on opening up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older starting April 15.

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