Here's where COVID restrictions are starting to ease in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In San Francisco, masking will get less strict.

The city is reinstating the mask exemption that was in place under state law prior to the arrival of omicron.

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Mayor London Breed tweeting earlier that starting on Tuesday, masks can be removed indoors in places like gyms and offices, as long as there's 100 percent vaccination and booster shots are up to date.

Across the bridge in the North Bay, schools are easing some restrictions in Marin County.

There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend assemblies or sporting events unless the crowd is expected to be over 500, in which case everyone needs to be vaccinated.

"We know there are some students who go to school because of sports, it's important for our community to bring the community together," said Mary Jane Burke, the Marin Office of Education Superintendent.

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And in neighboring Sonoma County, health officials modified their rules for indoor spectator events too.

Now allowing up to 50 inside a venue, not including staff, athletes, or performers.

"They're going to be more parents, more family members. You know maybe grandma, grandpa can come and see their grandchild play in another high school game," said Jan Smith Billing, the North Bay League Commissioner.

The gradual relaxing of rules is welcome by many.

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"I think that it's time. I really think that it's time to allow people to have masks optional," said infectious disease expert, Dr. Monica Gandhi.

Gandhi believes that between vaccination and the natural immunity caused by the fast-spreading omicron variant, we're approaching a stage where the virus is shifting from being a pandemic to an endemic disease we'll have to live with.

She says as that transition continues to occur, health officials will be allowed to continually lift more and more COVID restrictions.

"I am very confident that a very transmissible and less virulent variant does end the pandemic stage of a virus," Gandhi said.

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