California to Loosen Worksite Pandemic Rules Amid Reopening


California regulators on Thursday are set to approve revised worksite pandemic rules that allow fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms as when they are off the job.

The revised regulations would conform with general state guidelines that took effect Tuesday by ending most mask rules for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom promised on the eve of the meeting that the seven-member, governor-appointed California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will codify that through a vote.

Newsom said he will then quickly issue an executive order sidestepping the usual legal review that would normally keep the rules from taking effect until June 28.

The rules apply in almost every workplace in the state, including to workers in offices, factories, and retail.

The move comes after the board did a double-twisting backflip in recent weeks when it first postponed, then rejected, then adopted, then rescinded proposed rules that would have allowed workers to forego masks only if every employee in a room was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The new regulations conform with general state guidelines patterned after the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.