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Masks need to stay on indoors in California until June 15

State public health officials are asking Californians to keep their masks on indoors until June 15, whether they’ve gotten a COVID-19 vaccine or not, though they can skip masks outdoors as long as they’re not in a crowd and can keep a distance from others.

Last week, new federal guidance said vaccinated people may skip masking in most indoor and outdoor situations. State officials have been getting questions since then on whether California’s mask rules would change.

In a Monday, May 17, news conference, state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said keeping indoor mask rules for the next month “will give Californians time to prepare for this change” and may nudge people who were waiting to get a vaccine to do so before mid-June.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday put out new guidelines for masks that said anyone who’s had a single-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose regimen may stop wearing a mask outdoors, even in a crowd, and indoors in many cases; masks are still advised in places such as hospitals and health care facilities, airports and train stations, and while on trains, buses and planes.