California Reimposes State-Wide Mask Mandate to Combat Omicron Variant

California will impose a statewide mask mandate again due to the Omicron coronavirus variant. The new mask mandate will take effect Wednesday, December 15, and expire on January 15. The mask mandate applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

There are already harsh restrictions for the unvaccinated, but more restrictions will be introduced. There will be added requirements for people who want to attend large gatherings like sporting events and concerts. 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“The state will also require people attending mega-events of 1,000 people or more that don’t require vaccination to show proof of a negative test taken within one day for an antigen test, and within two days for a PCR test. The previous window was 72 hours.

“And it will recommend that travelers returning to California get tested three to five days after arrival.”

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the mandate on Monday. The previous Friday, there were 18 reported cases of Omicron in the state.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, “We have a tool we know has worked and can work. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of despair.”

Ghaly noted that Californians went through the mandate once before, and he believes they can do it again. He also acknowledged that there would be people who would not mask. In response to those people, he stated:

“We hope that those are few and far between, that most people see the purpose of doing this over the next month as something to protect them and their communities during a very tough time.”

California last lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals on June 15. However, counties have decided their own policies, with some being more strict than others. The new state mandate will override any local exemptions, forcing vaccinated people to wear masks again.

California’s handling of the pandemic, including strict lockdowns and mask mandates, has encouraged many businesses to leave the state. The Daily Wire moved its headquarters from California to Tennessee in November 2020. 

Political Commentator Dave Rubin is the latest to announce his departure from the state. On Monday, he declared, “Officially leaving the dystopian nightmare of California for the free state of Florida.”

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