California lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions and officially reopened Tuesday, marking the moment with state-subsidized holiday gifts and $ 15 million in vaccine lottery prizes, as evidenced by the politically divided but economically formidable pandemic .
One of the last U.S. states to reopen, many of the health restrictions have already been relaxed or will only be phased out completely in the fall. The formal settlement of pandemic rules in America’s most populous state was another sign of a national turn to recovery. One in eight Americans lives in California, which generates 14.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
“There is no American recovery without the recovery of California,” Gavin Newsom said in an interview Monday when traders were willing to drop the masks and occupation restrictions that restricted trade as well as the coronavirus. “The good news is that the state’s economic recovery is well underway.”
The coronavirus has infected about 3.8 million Californians and killed more than 63,000 people since the pandemic began – more deaths than any other state due to the size of California’s population. At the same time, the state has been particularly aggressive in fighting the virus and has sometimes taken a good legal line to balance civil liberties with public health needs.
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected some of the restrictions on the state’s pandemic at religious gatherings. And the pandemic policy of mr. Newsom helped launch a recall campaign against him.
“The state erred on the side of warning, and that affected personal freedom in favor of public health,” said Dr. Christopher Longhurst, the chief information officer for the health system at the University of California, said. “But it saved lives.”
Two earlier attempts to relax health rules ended in increases in new cases, but the calculation changed significantly with the vaccination.
With the help of the Biden government, California has invested heavily in vaccinations, offered more than $ 100 million in immunization incentives, and opened clinics in a wide variety of locations, including farm worker communities, strip shops, and sports arenas. For months, the state has had one of the country’s highest vaccination rates and the lowest positivity rates.
The governor on Tuesday would provide for a drawing of the vaccine lottery, which awards 10 prizes of $ 1.5 million to Californians who have received at least one dose of vaccine. Next week, the state will award a variety of free vacations in California to vaccinated travelers, including a stay at Disneyland – which increased attendance limits and dropped the mask requirements for vaccinated visitors from Tuesday – and ten weddings at a resort in the Napa Valley. .
Californians reacted to the reopening largely along political lines, just as they need to remind the movement to Newsom to recall.
In liberal strongholds such as San Francisco, officials have said they will exercise their option to impose stricter pandemic rules than the state, requiring proof of vaccination for employees at high-risk workplaces such as hospitals and nursing centers. .
In Los Angeles, Roselma Samala, co-owner of Genever, an Art Deco-inspired gin bar in historic downtown Filipinotown, said she and her partners, despite reopening in the country, did not plan to was to resume domestic service until July 15.
“Just bringing in a dollar is not worth it for us if the health of our staff or the health of our community is going to be affected,” Samala said.
In the more rural and conservative Central Valley, Jerry Dyer, the Republican mayor of Fresno, said his voters largely believed the health rules could and should be lifted sooner, and that it was difficult to celebrate reopening without even thinking about the livelihood that was shattered in the attempt to save lives.
“People who were fired, who had to stand in food lines for the first time, who were unemployed for the first time,” he said. Dyer said, “for the people, it’s bitterly sweet.”
And in the red-toner suburbs outside the capital, Sacramento, small business owners have Newsom blamed.
Most provinces have already lowered their rate cuts to a point that has made public gatherings and indoor dining possible, but the new approach effectively ends the entire color-coded system that determines rules based on infection levels.
Major indoor events, such as NBA games and concerts, require a negative coronavirus test or vaccination proof for entry. The state has strongly recommended similar requirements for admission to large outdoor venues such as Dodger Stadium.
Masks will still be needed in overcrowded high-risk areas – hospitals, long-term care facilities, public transport, prisons, homeless shelters. But otherwise, the state will generally not order masks for people who have been vaccinated, and enforcement will largely take place on the honor system.
Tariro Mzezewa reported from San Francisco.