By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Although federal guidelines last week said vaccinated people need not wear masks outdoors and in many indoor situations, the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also stipulated that states supersede these guidelines.
Although San Bernardino County leaders believe the CDC guidelines are prudent, the State of California is keeping its indoor mask requirement in place statewide until June 15 to coincide with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s previously announced date when statewide color-tier restrictions will be lifted.
“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement. “This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change while we continue our relentless focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities.”
Face coverings are not required for anyone outdoors except at crowded events, and for those unvaccinated, when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Important travel rules regarding masks
The biggest exception to the mask guidelines nationwide has to do with travel and public transportation.
Specifically, airline travelers will need to wear masks within airports and while on planes for the duration of their flight, except when eating or drinking for brief periods of time. This rule is being enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and is in effect until September 13, 2021.
In addition, the mask requirement is in effect for anyone traveling on trains, subways, buses (including school buses), taxis, trolleys, ferries and ride-share vehicles. This applies to transportation hubs or terminals. The rule does not apply for children under two or for disabled persons who cannot safely wear a mask because of their health condition.
Local stores and restaurants taking mask extension in stride
Californians have been living with the indoor mask mandate for over a year, so the additional month isn’t causing much concern.
“There’s certainly more of a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude we are seeing, especially when we see flare-ups of the virus in other countries,” said County Health Officer Dr. Michael Sequeira. “Given just under half of our county population has even a partial vaccination, the additional month gives time for the vaccine-hesitant to get on board.”
County health departments are allowed to be stricter than state guidelines, but they can’t be more lax. All Southern California counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, must follow State rules regarding masks.