CA Mask Mandate: Bay Area restaurant owners face complicated task in pleasing customers

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
The struggle Bay Area restaurants face with changing mask rules
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Bay Area restaurant owners have difficult decisions to make with California's mask restrictions set to ease up on June 15.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday we learned that California will not ease their indoor mask guidelines like the CDC has done until June 15th.

That's when the state has already planned to do away with the tier system and allow businesses to fully open.

"Just wear a mask!" says San Jose's Nina Rozela.

EXPLAINER: What fully vaccinated people can, cannot do according to CDC's new mask guidelines

"I think that it would be refreshing and nice to see everyone's faces and smiles," says San Francisco's Katherine O'Connor.

Yes the opinions about wearing a mask or not wearing a mask are extensive, but Monday the State of California announced they will follow the CDC by easing mask guidelines, but not until June 15th.

"With customer service you have to make sure that everyone is comfortable inside," said restaurant owner Brian Mitchell of San Francisco's Westwood Bar and Wilder. Mitchell says it's a challenge, but as the guidelines ease, you have to make sure your customers are okay with that.

VIDEO: CA to begin following the new CDC indoor mask guidelines starting June 15

California health officials announced Monday that the state would begin following the Centers for Disease Control's eased indoor mask guidelines starting June 15.

At Sushi Confidential in the South Bay, owner Randy Musterer says different state and federal guidelines could be a problem.

"My biggest concern at the moment is what the CDC said and what the states said, and now trying to manage what a lot of our customers trying to follow -- CDC guidelines instead of state guidelines," says Musterer.

The biggest difference here is that the CDC says vaccinated individuals don't have to wear a mask in most indoor situations, and the state says they still do up until that June date.

UCSF's Dr. Monica Gandhi believes the cautious mask guidelines approach by California is warranted.

"They got a lot of concerns over the weekend from businesses, so I think they said 'lets give it a little time, we were going to open on June 15th, lets make it that date,'" says Dr. Gandhi.

RELATED: Why not every vaccinated person is ready to give up mask-wearing

Ask Californians what they want, and you'll get all sorts of opinions.

"It has to start somewhere, we can't wear these masks for the rest of our lives," says Skylar Hickey of San Francisco.

"It's a very real thing, it can still come back around, and I think we should all be safe and wear a mask, even if your vaccinated it's been proven that you can still catch COVID," says Rozela.

California officials will now spend the next few weeks deciding how they plan to implement the new guidelines, and whether or not people will need to show proof of vaccination come June.

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