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Local businesses responding differently to lifting of indoor mask mandate

Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 16, 2022

Businesses across the Central Coast are responding in different ways to the indoor mask mandate being lifted.

Many businesses have put their own spin on how they plan to address unmasking.

“If individuals want the option to take the mask off, they have to show us their vaccination status. We’re looking at not only their vaccination but also their booster,” said David Pomfret, owner of Equilibrium Fitness for Women in San Luis Obispo.

“Our staff is still required to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status,” said Douglas Trawick, YMCA Operations Executive Director.

Even with the indoor mask mandate being lifted for vaccinated people in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, many business owners are choosing to wear masks. Others are happy to leave them behind.

“We are not going to enforce masks for vaccinated people so none of our vendors will be wearing masks unless they have unvaccinated employees,” said Taylor Judkins, owner of SLO Public Marketplace.

SLO Public Marketplace intends on allowing employees and customers to be free of masks if vaccinated.

“We talked to all of our tenants. If they have an indoor business, they are not required to enforce the masks. It is totally up to each individual business,” Judkins said.

Other local spots are requiring more to allow unmasking.

“We also made a caveat that there were a lot of people fully vaccinated and then just recently in the last few months they got COVID-19,” Pomfret said. “Now they are fully vaccinated and have recovered from a native infection, we view that as a heightened immunity.”

Equilibrium Fitness for Women and the YMCA require staff to still wear masks.

“A majority of our workforce is the youth childcare staff and the school sites are still requiring full masking across the board,” Trawick said.

Mama’s Meatball will allow unmasking for employees if they are vaccinated and boosted.

“It’s 100, 120 degrees easily in the kitchen, plus the mask, it’s fuming in there. It’s too much,” said Luca Alligretta, Mama’s Meatball chef.

All businesses ask for honesty from their customers.

“We ask them to be honest and truthful about their status,” Trawick said.

“Our understanding is pretty much the honor system,” Judkins said.

“Over here in California, people are very honest and they don’t want it bad for other ones,” Alligretta said.

“If there are simple opportunities to reduce the risk of infection, we should all continue to do those,” Pomfret added.

Every business had the requirement that masks must be worn if an individual is not vaccinated.