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California targets June 15 for full reopening

California has unveiled plans to remove its four-tier colour coded restrictions for all businesses, including the live events industry, by June 15.

The California Department of Public Health said the state will fully reopen next month if vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years or older who wish to be inoculated and if hospitalisations are stable and low.

The state has vaccinated more than 20 million residents so far and is looking to move beyond its Blueprint for a Safer Economy to fully reopen its economy.

California will continue to enforce measures such as wearing a mask across the state and testing or vaccination verification requirements will remain in relevant settings, such as large-scale higher-risk events.

In addition, conventions will be capped at 5,000 people until October 1 unless testing or vaccination status is verified for all attendees. It also noted that international convention attendees will only be allowed if fully vaccinated.

“We will only progress to this stage if we continue to stay vigilant, keep wearing our masks and getting vaccinated,” the Department of Public Health said. “The state will monitor hospitalisation rates, vaccine access, and vaccine efficacy against variants with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.”

Indoor concerts, theatres, sports and other private gatherings have been able to go ahead in the state since April 15, with proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result required for entry.

Since April 15, the number of guests allowed at the event or gathering has been determined by which four-colour restriction tier the specific county is in. The move paved the way for NHL and NBA venues in the state to admit a percentage of fans. Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which is home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and WNBA’s Sparks, is among the venues that has reopened.