The nation's most populous state is about to see a big easing. On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will end the state's stay-at-home mandate, as well as its accompanying alterations—15 months after it was put into place to manage the pandemic, reports KTLA. Newsom's new order, which goes into effect on Tuesday, means businesses no longer have to limit capacity or require social distancing, and people who've been fully vaccinated don't have to don masks anymore, even if they're inside. This development comes against the backdrop of what the Los Angeles Times calls "remarkably favorable" conditions in the state, with reports of new cases starting to dwindle and vaccination rates that rank among the highest in the nation.
"We've met our metrics, we feel prepared," Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services Agency secretary, told reporters on Friday, per KTLA. "Things in California, from a COVID transmission perspective, are going reasonably well." Not everyone will be able to throw off the masks just yet: The Sacramento Bee notes that workers in the state still have to adhere to current workplace safety regulations, which means wearing masks indoors and also outdoors, if employees are less than 6 feet apart. Those who haven't yet been fully vaccinated also still have to wear a mask in public places. KTLA notes that, despite this relaxing of restrictions, California officially remains under a declaration of emergency, which means that Newsom holds onto the authority to alter or suspend state laws regarding coronavirus management as he sees fit. (Read more California stories.)