To mask or not to mask? East Bay businesses left confused after new CDC guidance

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- While we await official guidance from California on the new CDC mask rules, business owners here in the Bay Area are busy trying to process what the changes will mean for them, and their customers.

The conversation was already underway at Walnut Creek's Athletic Outpost. What to do about the masks, now a policy change is in the works that allow fully vaccinated people to lose the face covering, outside and in.

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

"If people do want to come in without the mask and they say they're vaccinated, that's along with CDC guidelines, we're not going to fight with them over that, but also if you have other people in the store, everybody has to feel comfortable," Tim Ketron.

It doesn't appear Ketron or his customers will be tossing out the masks like an old pair of shoes, at least not right away.

Part of the issue, though, how does one police whether a customer or client has been vaccinated?

RELATED: CDC eases mask-wearing for vaccinated, but Bay Area health official says not so fast

"How can you prove that someone's been vaccinated or not? That's going to be the issue. If someone's walking around without a mask, how do you know that they're vaccinated?" said fitness instructor Laura Darr.

And, just because the rest of the country or even the federal government does something, that doesn't necessarily mean California will follow.

Monica Barajas owns a busy restaurant in Livermore. She and her employees don't yet know what the new mask guidelines will mean for them, even though most of them are fully vaccinated

RELATED: SF business owners, employees wary of CDC's new mask-wearing guidance

"For our restaurant, I think we're going to have to do this individually, based on how our customer base is feeling. We're still trying to figure it out this morning, but I think what we'll probably do is just continue to mask until June 15 to see how that's perceived," said Barajas.

Even with the confusion, business owners told us the changing mask guidelines are a positive sign that the pandemic may be closer to being over."

"I'm hopeful...I'm more hopeful than I've been in a year," said Barajas.

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