'Social Bubbles,' certain services and more allowed in Alameda County starting Monday

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- New, relaxed shelter-in-place orders will allow residents in Alameda County to finally socialize, access certain services and more, come Monday.

Of course, modified rules come with restrictions.

Announced on Friday, residents will be given the green light on small gatherings, known as "Social Bubbles," where up to 12 people from different households can hang out, outdoors.

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"Twelve is good, and I think we'll start with people whom we know and who have already kept safe in general," Anubhav Singh told ABC7 News.

Keep in mind, members of your bubble shouldn't change for at least three weeks. So, choose wisely.

Childcare and other extracurricular activities expand for all children, not only those of essential workers.

However, most parents we spoke with said they'll wait.

"I would wait a bit for the daycare. It's still a closed facility," Youssef Hanna explained.

His wife, Magie Fakuos Hanna added, "And it's really hard for kids not to hug each other or play with each other. I can't imagine my kids going and actually keeping social distance at all."

Additionally, libraries across the county can open for curbside pickup. Certain businesses requiring little person-to-person contact can also reopen.

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This is good news for 6-month-old Achilles, since pet grooming makes the cut.

"The main thing that I've been looking forward to is getting my dog groomed," owner, Kathleen Maxwell said. "He's a poodle, and poodles have hair that grows and grows just like human hair does, and he's very overgrown now. And with it being so hot, it's a problem for him to have really long hair."

Resident Victor Migalchan shared, "I'm happy that it's opening up, and I'm taking advantage of whatever I can."

ABC7 News connected with Union City resident, Abdul Khaliqi who added, "I welcome any kind of opening, for everything. For the restaurant, for shopping here and there, mostly the gym."

To be clear, outdoor dining, indoor retail and access to gyms aren't part of this phase for Alameda County.

"Residents can expect that outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, and additional outdoor activities (like outdoor fitness classes) will resume in phases in upcoming relaxations to the shelter-in-place restrictions," the county added in a press release.

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Elsewhere, maybe.

Since restrictions vary by county, residents admit it can be confusing.

"It's been difficult. I think, more than that. There have been different dates that they have said," Singh said. "Like, somebody does it a day before, somebody does it today. They're not coordinated."

Hanna added, "We just have the masks all the time. We don't even know which county is doing what. We just have them in the car, we use them all the time."

These relaxed shelter-in-place restrictions come with stricter mask requirements. Also beginning Monday, residents will have to wear a face covering anytime they're outside, even when exercising, and within 30 feet of other people.

To be redirected to Alameda County's Public Health Department update, click here.

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