The statewide reopening is here and most pandemic restrictions are gone. 

Fully vaccinated residents in Orange County no longer have to wear masks in most places or stay six feet away from others.

People still have to wear masks at hospitals, jails, public transportation and homeless shelters.

Unvaccinated people are also mandated to wear masks in public places and state officials are relying on an honor system for that.

The reopening also marked an end to strict business practices, like limiting the number of people inside buildings. 

Theme parks are also able to allow more people in. 

Places like bars, night clubs, movie theaters and bowling alleys were closed for much of the past year due to pandemic restrictions. Now, the businesses are allowed operate at full capacity.

Some residents who largely stayed away from public settings since last year were finally out and cautiously enjoying the day.

Others thought the reopening was long overdue because case rates have been stable for months. 

Since the pandemic began last year, COVID has killed nearly 5,100 Orange County residents and questions still linger about a potential Fall or Winter surge.

Patrons toast at Indio Botanas and Cerveza in Downtown Santa Ana. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Food is served to over 50 people at El Indio Botanas Y Cervezas bar in downtown Santa Ana. Masks and social distancing were lifted during the dinner service. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
The Haddad family visit Linbrook bowling alley in Anaheim. June 15 marked the first time customers could drop their masks since the pandemic began. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Left to right, Eric Wang, 13, and Leo Wang, 18, of Newport Beach play games inside of the Boomers attraction center in Irvine on June 15, 2021. Although mask mandates are lifted, the Wang brothers still wear their masks, “We feel safer,” says Leo. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Jeffrey William-Mensah, 23, of Chino Hills rides the go karts at Boomers attraction center in Irvine on June 15, 2021. William-Mensah, who is fully vaccinated, was happy to go without a mask. “I feel free,” he said. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
The dining area of Boomers in Irvine. The family attraction center has ben open at a limited capacity since February 2021. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Boomers general manager, Raquel, walks through the concession stand. All employees at Boomers are still required to wear masks on the premises until the state workplace safety regulatory agency revises its guidelines. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC
Guests at a cocktail bar in Santa Ana watch a live music performance without masks and social distancing protocols due to the lifted mandates on June 15, 2021. Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

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