California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic.
Starting Tuesday, there will be no more state rules on social distancing, and no more limits on capacity at restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, stadiums or anywhere else. And masks one of the most symbolic and fraught symbols of the pandemic will no longer be mandated for vaccinated people in most settings, though businesses and counties can still require them.
Just in time for summer, California wants to send the message that life in the Golden State is getting much closer to normal. The economy is fully reopening for the first time in 15 months and people can largely return to pre-pandemic lifestyles. Fans can cheer mask-less at Dodgers and Giants games. Disneyland is throwing its doors open to all tourists after allowing just California residents.
To mark the reopening, Newsom will make a few lucky residents millionaires. In a made-for-TV main event, the governor will draw 10 names of residents who have received at least one vaccine dose and award each one $1.5 million. The drawing is the grand finale to the nation’s largest vaccine incentive, $116 million in a COVID-19 vaccine lottery. Winners can collect the money once they are fully vaccinated.