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California Will Completely Reopen by June 15, Newsom Says

In the meantime, San Francisco remains in the orange tier

CA Gov. Newsome Announces Expanded Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccination Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Governor Gavin Newsom brought long-awaited news to restaurants, diners, and California businesses of all kinds today with the announcement that the state plans to open all businesses by June 15. In a press conference held on April 6, San Francisco Mayor London Breed introduced Newsom, giving new numbers indicating a solid pathway to reopening the California economy, including San Francisco. Per Breed, more than 50 percent of San Franciscans over 16 and more than 85 percent of those over 65 have received the vaccine as of today, and hospitalization rates have drastically dropped.

While the hoped-for announcement that San Francisco would move immediately to the green tier did not come, Breed implied that it might move to the less restrictive yellow tier as soon as next week. “San Francisco is in the orange tier and fingers crossed we’ll be headed to home next week,” said Breed. “But, guess what folks, we’re still in a pandemic and we still need to be careful.”

According to Newsom, California “has administered more doses than all but five nations in the world, and seven million more doses than any state in the country.” As death rates go down and case rates stabilize, Newsom says he anticipates that the state can completely ditch the colored tier system (aka the Blueprint for a Safer Economy) “if we continue the good work.”

Newsom anticipates that more than 30 million people will have been vaccinated with at least one dose by the end of the calendar month. “It’s incumbent on all of us not to announce mission accomplished, not to let down our guard,” said Newsom.

The Governor also threw a little shade on states that were overly zealous in loosening restrictions, including Texas who crammed more than 38,000 Texas Rangers fans into a stadium yesterday, warning Californians against similar actions.

As a reminder, the city and county of San Francisco has been in the orange tier status since March 24, which allows restaurants and bars to operate at indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, bars to reopen for outdoor drinking without food, and other loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining.

Since then there’s been an increase in restaurants opening dining rooms for the first time since the pandemic began, expanded dining options, and even some new restaurant openings, giving the beleaguered industry a glimpse of a return to normalcy.