From a government perspective, things are little more complicated.
While the whole point of declaring an emergency — as Gov. Gavin Newsom did in March 2020 — is to give officials flexibility to move quickly, winding down all the temporary regulations solidified in many intertwined executive actions will be a longer process, officials said in a briefing on Friday.
For example, the state suspended some training and licensing requirements for certain health care workers, as hospitals scrambled to deal with the surge of Covid-19 cases, and officials said it’s important not to yank the regulatory rug out from under people who may still be working in their pandemic roles.
But officials did take a significant step on Friday: The state officially ended the order directing 40 million Californians to stay at home, which had been in place since last year. A new, much less stringent public health order will go into effect on Tuesday.
Still, there may be some changes that could become permanent.
Covid has been a “great accelerant of change,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary, said on Friday. “What, if anything, makes sense to make permanent — those are important conversations that will have to happen in the weeks and months and years to come.”
So will I have to wear a mask?
If you’re fully vaccinated and you’re not working, probably not.
There are, as we explained recently, some exceptions, such as on public transit, in health care settings and indoors at K-12 schools, where everyone must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
Unvaccinated people must continue to wear a mask indoors — although businesses have the option to enforce that regulation as strictly as they want, or essentially not at all. (They will be required to post the rules, and patrons will “self-attest” that they are complying.)