CA to implement new CDC mask guidelines beginning June 15

photo of mask mandate flyer on a restaurant window
Eliana Marcu/Staff
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a guidance May 13 stating that those who are fully vaccinated may resume activities "without wearing masks or physically distancing." On Monday, state officials announced that the state will follow the latest mask guidance from the CDC, effective June 15.

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As California begins to look toward a full reopening, state health officials announced Monday that the state will follow the latest mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effective June 15.

The CDC issued guidance May 13 allowing those who are fully vaccinated to resume activities “without wearing masks or physically distancing.” The guidance includes most indoor settings and also allows those who are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to refrain from getting tested or quarantining.

“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings,” said Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary, in a statement.

The CDC guidance added that individuals will still have to wear masks on public transportation regardless of vaccination status and get tested if traveling internationally. Furthermore, any state and local mask and physical requirements will still supersede the CDC guidelines.

Ghaly noted that the additional time helps the state prepare for the new guidelines taking effect, especially through a focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities.

“We urge all Californians to get vaccinated to ensure that infection and hospitalization rates remain low across the state and that we can all return to the activities we love,” Ghaly said in the statement. “Until June 15, when California plans to fully reopen the economy, California will keep our existing guidance around masks in place.”

Under current state mask guidelines, face coverings for vaccinated people are not required outdoors except for crowded events and similar settings, according to the California Department of Public Health website.

Existing state guidelines also require unvaccinated people to wear masks when “physical distancing cannot be maintained,” and masks are required in any indoor setting outside of one’s home, with few exceptions.

“California has made amazing progress in our fight against COVID-19. With more than 34 million vaccines administered, we now have among the lowest case and positivity rates in the nation,” Ghaly said in the statement.

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.