California rejoices as state reopens, lifting most Covid-19 restrictions

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The Golden State celebrated its “reopening day” on Tuesday by easing almost all pandemic restrictions. It was the first US state to implement a stay-at-home order just under 15 months ago. FRANCE 24’s Eric Pape and Pierrick Leurent report from Los Angeles, where those vaccinated can roam mask-free in most settings.

California lifted most of its mandatory Covid-19 restrictions on June 15, which residents have had to live with for nearly a year and a half. With more than 70 percent of people vaccinated state-wide, local authorities now say there’s no going back.

State rules on physical distancing and capacity limits have been lifted for restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, museums, amusement parks, stadiums or other locations.

Residents are reveling in their newfound freedom, saying there is a noticeable change in atmosphere. “Over the past month I’ve been noticing the energy picking up. People are going out again, I see people walking on the streets, but it’s refreshing now that we don’t have to wear a mask anymore,” said one local.

Staff at most LA restaurants running at full capacity are still wearing masks, however. Many shops have also kept their masking signs up, but some customers are testing their limits.

“If we can  go into the stores without wearing masks, then Im going to do it. I feel safe, I feel healthy.”

Click on the player above to watch the report by Eric Pape and Pierrick Leurent.