reopening the bay area

People Flock Malls, Restaurants as Bay Area Reopens

NBC Universal, Inc.

A number of people are taking advantage of the new normal as California reopens, and visited malls and restaurants in the Bay Area.

Unmasked people - a sight nowhere to be seen this time last year - flocked clothing stores and restaurants at the food court inside Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara as new guidelines allow vaccinated people to enjoy outings without wearing a face mask.

"It feels normal," said San Jose resident David Sylva, "just feels normal. This is the way its supposed to be."

Sylva and Eric Christensen planned to visit 15 stores at the shopping center in the South Bay, and plan to do so without a mask.

As they were roaming the mall, they were surprised to see that most people still decided to keep their masks on.

One of those people is San Jose resident Tracey Jones.

"I plan to still stay safe myself even though I'm vaccinated, I will wear my mask," she said.

James Hyon is the general manager at Bamboo Sushi and is excited to nearly double his seating capacity.

"I'm ecstatic! I have been waiting for this moment for a really long time," he said. "We have been surviving on to-go only orders, so to have the restaurant operate at full capacity is huge for us."

At Valley Fair Mall, the food court is open and social distancing is no longer required. Most employees are still required to wear masks, but vaccinated guests can enjoy their lunch and shopping without one.

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