Businesses are preparing to resume normal operations after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the relaxation of many COVID-19 restrictions starting June 15.
Monte Schaller, General Manager at the Siren in Morro Bay, said, "So pumped. It’s been a long dry spell.”
Many places have been shuttered temporarily, or even closed completely. The Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo even acted as a COVID-19 testing site for Cal Poly students.
The new rules mean social distancing will no longer be necessary in most cases.
“We cannot social distance in our business model for concerts. And again, that’s why we’ve waited so long to do shows until we aren’t required to do social distancing,” Schaller said.
Rick Boller, Executive Director at the Santa Barbara Bowl, said, “The biggest challenge for us up until now has been the stops and starts of it all, but now having some guidance to work toward, I think the thing we will follow at least to this point is the lead of our public health and see how our situation in Santa Barbara County fits in with the state mandates.”
Mega-events, like venues with more than 5,000 people, will have to check if people are vaccinated or require a negative COVID-19 test done in the prior 72 hours.
County officials said San Luis Obispo Community Sites usually get people their test results within 48 hours.
In terms of masks and face-coverings, Gov. Newsom deferred to the California Department of Public Health's decisions.
Indoors, vaccinated people can visit with each other without masks as long as it isn't too crowded. Vaccinated people do not have to wear masks when outdoors, except for crowded events, festivals, sports, etc.
Unvaccinated people are advised to wear masks outdoors whenever physical distancing cannot happen. According to the CDPH website, vaccinated people can visit with them if they qualify as those, "who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease in indoor and outdoor settings."
Some locals have mixed reactions to the new guidelines.
“I think it’s a great time to do it right before summer. You know, if people have any objections or anything, you know, those are the same people who can take it upon themselves to stay home,” said Arroyo Grande resident Richard Vernon Niece III.
But Pismo Beach resident Ezra Hill wasn't so sure, “Of course everyone who’s not vaccinated is just going to cruise along and put everyone in danger. And honestly, that’s not right," said Pismo Beach resident Ezra Hill. "Personally, in my opinion, people who aren’t vaccinated should continue to wear masks just to promote safety for everyone else.”
"For people to know that you do have [the vaccine] and whatnot, I say you have certain wrist bands that are designated and saying that you have it, sharing your ID card and whatnot,” added Arroyo Grande resident Jordan Lacey.