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The lifting of mask mandates across the state drives tourism

morro bay embarcadero.PNG
Posted at 10:45 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 01:45:57-05

Masks in Morro Bay are now optional as mask mandates are being lifted across the state of California, and local business owners are seeing an influx of tourists.

"Oh it's great. You know I can breathe now you know what I mean?" said Jose Munoz, who was visiting Morro Bay.

Visitors have one less thing to worry about while strolling along the Embarcadero.

"You don't have to worry about, oh man I forgot my mask, gotta go back to my car. You can just walk in, do your thing and get out," said Munoz.

"Any time you go into one of the stores, you don't have to pull it out of your packet and put it on your face," said visitor, Dawn Munoz.

Sales associates tell us it's been great being able to take off their masks and interact face to face with customers.

"I've noticed that people are more excited to come into the shop and talk. Like, with a mask on it's hard to interact with people," said Jeshua Sanders, who is a Azhiaziam's sales associate.

It's been a busy weekend for Morro Bay. In addition to it being a holiday they also are hosting a surfing competition, driving tourists to the area.

"It's been very, very busy. People are Happy about it, but there's a lot that feel a little more secure wearing it, so we try to respect however they're feeling," said Poppy sales associate, Londa Napoli.

Generally, customers at Poppy are pretty happy about the mask mandate being lifted.

"You know, other people just feel like I'll just keep wearing mine and yet they're fine. I haven't really heard any complaints at all," said Napoli.

Though the county has lifted its mask mandate, other establishments, like the Bayfront Inn, are keeping theirs in place.

"Anybody that comes in here has to be wearing a mask," said Bayfront Inn front desk clerk, Dan Curtis.

Curtis says all of the customers are complying with the mandate, and though it is busy this holiday weekend, he isn't seeing a significant change in business or guest behavior now that the mandate has been lifted.

"I really haven't noticed any differences at all," said Curtis.

The lifting of the mandate is a delight for some visitors.

"I hope it stays like this," said Munoz.

The California Department of Public Health is still requiring masks regardless of vaccination status in the following settings: on all public transportation, at schools, hospitals and shelters.