California is reinstating an indoor mask mandate.

The indoor mask mandate will go into effect on Wednesday and will remain until at least Jan. 15.,

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California is reinstating an indoor mask mandate.

Staff and customers at Dinosaur Coffee on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, in July. California is reimposing a mask mandate.
Staff and customers at Dinosaur Coffee on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, in July. California is reimposing a mask mandate.Credit…Alex Welsh for The New York Times
  • Dec. 13, 2021, 5:12 p.m. ET

California will once again require residents to wear masks in indoor public settings everywhere in the state, as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads and the virus surges as the holidays approach.

The indoor mask mandate will go into effect on Wednesday and will remain until at least Jan. 15, state officials said on Monday.

The state will also require unvaccinated people attending so-called mega events to show proof of a negative coronavirus test result from within a day, if it’s an antigen test, and within two days for a P.C.R. test.

“We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services, told reporters.

But he said that science has shown that even a relatively small increase in indoor masking can help prevent the virus from spreading, which can in turn help keep hospitals from filling.

On Monday, New York State began requiring people wear masks indoors in public if proof of full vaccination was not required, a policy which is in effect at least until Jan. 15. Businesses that do not require patrons to be masked could face civil and criminal penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 per violation, and local health departments are responsible for enforcement.

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