San Mateo County enters red tier allowing some businesses to reopen indoors

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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San Mateo County has officially moved into the red tier allowing residents to eat in restaurants and workout in gyms.

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A line of people waited to get inside the 24 Hour Fitness in Redwood City Wednesday morning. The gym is now permitted to allow customers inside for the first time since December 15th.

Gerald Triplett drove to the gym from Fremont. He says there are 24 Hour Fitness centers in Fremont, he just can't use them.

"I have one not too far from me but it's closed," he said.

RELATED: 2 Bay Area counties join red tier: Here's what will change

Gyms in San Mateo and Marin Counties can allow 10% of their capacity inside because they are now in the red tier of the state's Covid re-opening plan.

The 24 Hour Fitness in Redwood City can hold 800 people. They can allow 80 people inside at a time under the current guidelines.

The members who worked out Wednesday morning were happy to be able to come inside.

RELATED: San Mateo, Marin counties prepare for indoor dining ahead of move into less restrictive red tier

"I like it! It's nice. Especially when it is cold in the morning. You have to be tough to be outside," said Frank Harris of San Jose, who says he sometimes works out twice a day.

Restaurants can also let people inside again. Customers eating inside at Breakers Café Wednesday morning say it felt good.

"It's great because we have been (eating) outside freezing our butts off! It's been cold," said Larry Van Hoorne of Portola Valley, a loyal customer who says he has been trying to eat at Breakers everyday to keep them in business.

The café owner says he is so happy to bring back his loyal employees. He went from a staff of 15 to 3.

"Maybe within next month or so we can be back to 10 employees. Little by little, we will see how it goes," said owner Gonzalo Aldana.

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He's been through this before, so he knows he could be shut down again. But now that the vaccine is available, he has hope that it will be different.

"We have been waiting for this day, especially now with the vaccine out, the tiers are going to mean a lot more now," Aldana said.

Restaurants can allow 25% of capacity inside under the red tier. Other Bay Area counties are in the purple tier, which prohibits indoor dining or the opening of gyms.

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