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Newsom says Californians not required to wear masks in most cases starting June 15

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said that starting June 15, Californians will no longer be required to wear masks in most circumstances. 

The comments came during an interview with FOX 11, in which Newsom described a world that will supposedly look “a lot like the world we entered into before the pandemic.”

“We’re not wearing face coverings. We’re not restricted in any way, shape or form from doing the old things that we used to do, save for huge, large-scale indoor convention events like that, where we use our common sense,” Newsom told the station.

June 15 will be just shy of a year since Californians were required to wear masks in public places. The guidance requires people to wear a mask when gathering indoors with people who are not vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people can meet indoors without wearing a mask. They do not have to wear a mask outdoors, except when attending large gatherings.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is considering changing its workplace mask rules later this month. The proposed rules would not require employees to wear masks indoors if all workers are fully vaccinated and no one has coronavirus symptoms. 

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Newsom said last month he would lift most of the state’s coronavirus restrictions by mid-June if the state’s coronavirus case numbers continued to improve. 

Newsom told FOX 11 Tuesday that the state would require masks “only for those massively large settings where people from around the world, not just around the country, are conversing.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom removes his face mask during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom removes his face mask during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. 
(AP)

“We’ll make guidance recommendations, but no mandates and … no restrictions on businesses large and small,” Newsom said.

Fox News has reached out to the California Department of Public Health seeking more information on what statistics went into the governor’s decision. 

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The rate of Californians testing positive for the coronavirus is just above 1% – a fact Newsom touted in his interview with FOX 11 as “the lowest in the nation.” More than 14.6 million people are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and another 5.1 million are partially vaccinated. 

Throughout the pandemic, California has been among the strictest states in the nation in terms of COVID-related restrictions – policies that fueled a recall campaign against Newsom.  

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Recall organizers have gathered more than 2 million signatures. The California Secretary of State said late last month that the threshold of verified signatures reported by counties – which was set at 1,495,709 – had been met. The campaign collected more than 1.6 million verified signatures, according to the secretary of state’s office. A recall election will likely be held later this year. 

Fox News’ Brittany De Lea and The Associated Press contributed to this report

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