California Governor Newsom Continues to Take Steps to Reopen California’s Economy

CA Health and Government COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

In anticipation of officially reopening the state for business on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced completely lifting, modifying or setting expiration dates on many of the Executive Orders he put in place during the pandemic. In addition, the California Department of Public Health issued a new Public Health Officer Order on June 11, formally eliminating the state’s tiered Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework effective June 15, and state legislative leaders announced that the State Capitol will reopen to the general public on June 15 as well.

The Governor’s Executive Orders

Executive Order N-07-21 terminates the March 19, 2020, Executive Order that put in place the state’s first-in-the-nation stay-at-home order and also retires the May 4, 2020 Executive Order creating the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, both effective Tuesday, June 15.

Executive Order N-08-21 terminates most of the 58 Executive Orders put in place by the Newsom Administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new Order:

  • Business waivers granted under several EOs will largely be lifted on June 30, 2021;
  • Most extended statutory and regulatory deadlines will remain in place until June 30, 2021;
  • Vehicle registration deadlines falling on or before June 30, 2021 will continue to be extended; and
  • Notably, the moratorium on commercial evictions is extended through September 30, 2021.

The Governor has also ordered that several emergency regulations implemented in response to the pandemic be phased out over time “to ensure that impacted individuals and entities have time to prepare for the changes.” Despite these exceptions—which are listed in the 13 page long EO—the Governor’s office reports that “nearly 90 percent of the executive actions taken since March 2020 will have been lifted” by the end of September.

Elimination of the Blueprint Framework

As noted, the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework will end on Tuesday, June 15. The Blueprint tiers will be replaced with limited guidance on the use of face coverings issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which permits vaccinated individuals to forgo masks in most cases, and with specific guidance for large “mega events” included in CDPH’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industries and Business Sectors guidance.

  • The mega event guidance requires proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 testing for indoor mega events and recommends this policy be followed for outdoor mega events.
  • The guidance does not include capacity restrictions or physical distancing requirements, and mandates compliance with CDPH face coverings guidance for all such events.
  • Mega events are defined as those with large crowds of greater than 5,000 (indoors) and 10,000 (outdoors) attendees, such as conventions, sporting events, festivals, or concerts.

As of June 15, all state-mandated capacity restrictions and face covering requirements will be lifted for all businesses and other establishments throughout California. While counties are permitted to put in place additional restrictions, most counties, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have announced that they intend to lift local restrictions in line with the state’s changes.

Capitol Reopening

The State Capitol will be reopening for the first time since March 2020. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins jointly announced that the State Capitol will reopen to the general public on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the same day that the Blueprint framework will terminate and the new Health Officer Order easing other restrictions goes into effect. The Capitol closed on March 18, 2020, in response to the statewide stay-at-home orders and to comply with a Sacramento County Public Health Order.

Under the legislative leadership’s plan, no more than 500 people will be permitted to be in the Capitol at any given time for at least the first week. Assuming all goes well, the leadership expects to double the permitted headcount to 1,000 people for the week of June 21.

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