Businesses in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties happy to be in the yellow tier

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 00:08:19-04

Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have officially moved into the yellow COVID-19 tier.

After being in the orange tier for months, both counties have met the criteria to move into the less-restrictive tier, allowing the easing of restrictions even more and allowing for more indoor activities for many businesses.

Some restaurants say they haven't had a chance to host bigger parties because of the previous restrictions.

"Many of them had birthday parties or some gathering and we always had to say 'no' and they would get upset but we had to follow the rules," said G Scott's Pizza owner Kazem Mashhoon.

Under the yellow tier, a few sectors can open up at greater capacity, including:

  • Movie theaters: open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Hotels: open with modifications, plus their indoor pools can open, spas can open, and fitness centers can open at 50% capacity
  • Gyms: open indoors at 50% capacity, plus saunas, spas, steam rooms, and indoor pools can open
  • Restaurants: open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries: open indoors at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Bars: open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Family entertainment centers: open indoors at 50% capacity including arcades, ice skating, roller skating, and indoor playgrounds

"I feel like it's going back to normal, how it used to be instead of being stuck ordering online. It's just more money than you have to waste,” said Santa Maria resident Nadia Sierra.

With the state re-opening coming up on June 15, places like the Santa Maria Town Center Mall have been preparing.

"We will have a lot more on-site events here again so where the community can gather and interact with one another and have some fun. We are so excited. I personally missed this so much,” said Santa Maria Town Center Marketing Manager Kristen LaGrange.

While many people are looking forward to fewer restrictions, some restaurant owners are still cautious and not opening up indoor dining just yet.

"We need to take care of our community. I do want to apologize to my customers but I plan on opening until I see almost all of our population looking better so we can all just feel safe and confident in coming to eat happily without worrying that we are going to get sick,” said Lucero Hutron, El Rinconcito Restaurant co-owner.

The state is set to do away with the tier system on June 15, which will eliminate capacity limits and social distancing requirements in most business sectors.