California is set to enter a major phase of reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state on Friday will begin allowing schools, children’s camps, camping grounds, gyms, bars, sporting events, hotels, casinos, museums, zoos, aquariums, music studios, and film production sets to resume operations with heavily modified rules.

According to the state’s top health official, Mike Ghaly, the rules for which sectors can open will vary. Schools and children’s camps will be able to open statewide. The other sectors included in this phase will be dependent on counties meeting certain criteria, including case numbers and testing.

This is the third phase of Gov. Gavin Newson’s four-phase plan to restart California’s economy. Newsom has emphasized that it is up to individual counties to determine whether they are ready to begin reopening their non-essential businesses. He has also confirmed that the state's case and hospitalization numbers are remaining stable.

Despite this optimism, California is still bracing for a potential resurgence of the virus as a result of these businesses and institutions reopening. There are also concerns over the disease spreading during the recent protests against police brutality in major cities.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area has been exercising greater caution in reopening than L.A., despite that latter having more infections. The Bay Area entered lockdown three days earlier and its hesitance to reopen has led to clashes with Silicon Valley businesses, including a notable spat with Elon Musk over a Tesla factory.

This is potentially down to the political makeup of these regions. The Bay Area has different health officers for each county within its jurisdiction, while L.A. has only one officer to listen to and appease the 88 cities that make up the region.

Governor Gavin Newsom imposed stay-at-home orders on all 40 million Californians on March 19 Governor Gavin Newsom imposed stay-at-home orders on all 40 million Californians on March 19 Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN