Newsom Signals Possible End to Most Mask-Wearing Mandates

LOS ANGELES—With California planning to lift COVID-19 restrictions on business activity and gatherings on June 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week the state’s mask-wearing mandate will be mostly lifted as well—but not entirely.

Speaking to Fox11 on May 10, Newsom said the state will continue to make recommendations for mask-wearing in select circumstances. But he said when the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy is scrapped as scheduled on June 15, mask-wearing will likely only be required in large-scale indoor gatherings.

“Only in those settings that are indoor,” he told Fox11. “Only in those massively large settings, where people—from around the world, not just around the country—are convening, and where people are mixing in real dense spaces.

“Otherwise, we’ll make guidance, recommendations, but no mandates and no restrictions,” he said.

Newsom announced in early April that the state plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions on June 15, banking on the success of vaccinations. The move will do away with the color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy that ranks counties into one of four tiers with varying degrees of allowable business and social

He insisted at the time, however, that the state would maintain some form of mask mandate.

But as more people are becoming fully vaccinated, federal and local health officials have eased back on mask-wearing, particularly in outdoor settings with relatively small numbers of other fully vaccinated people.

Newsom told Fox11 mask-wearing in California will likely still be required at “huge, large-scale indoor convention events where we’ll use our common sense.”

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