Bay Area Businesses, Customers Confused by New Mask Guidance

Many Bay Area restaurants and other businesses said they are starting to get caught in the middle of the new mask guidelines

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To mask? or not to mask? That's the question heading into the weekend in the Bay Area.

This after the CDC said if anyone is fully vaccinated, they can go mask less inside and outside in most instances.

But California hasn't given that plan the green light yet. Many Bay Area restaurants and other businesses said they are starting to get caught in the middle, which is a big concern ahead of the weekend rush.

Restaurants, gyms, stores and many other places expect bigger crowds this weekend and they anticipate some of those people won’t be happy to hear that for now the rule in California is masks must be on when you’re going inside.

Many people in the Bay Area are still masking up inside, as we wait for new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and county health leaders as to whether you can ditch the mask indoors. Jean Elle reports.

They are expecting big crowds at Jack Holder's Restaurant this weekend in San Jose. Outside and inside. But will everyone be wearing mask?

"There's a lot of confusion," said Dan Holder, owner of Jack Holder's Restaurant.

NBC Bay Area’s Scott Budman said he saw people walk into a gym wearing a mask and into the grocery store wearing a mask.

But what about going inside the restaurant?

"To this day, when I walk in, do I need to put my mask on? Do I take it off? It's just protocol. When you enter a building, you put the mask on,” Holder said.

Most business owners NBC Bay Area spoke to said they don't expect any big conflict this weekend as they believe most customers are taking a wait and see approach.

There were mask-up signs still taped to the windows in many Bay Area restaurants Friday.

"We're excited about what the CDC is saying, that gives us hope for the near future. But as of now, we're still masks on," said Owen Jobson, owner of Blue Rock BBQ.

There is another thing that are complicating things for restaurants that want to keep the mask mandate. Earlier on Friday, The National Restaurant Association announced it will no longer recommend it’s members require masks for vaccinated guests.

The California Restaurant Association also released a statement regarding the mask guidance confusion. Their statement read in part:

Unfortunately, the discrepancy between the state's guidance and the federal guidance has caused confusion and even confrontation today, as some of our members have told us that their guests expect to be able to walk in the door without a mask on. Restaurants should continue to follow local and state guidance. We (the CRA) believe the state should align with the federal guidance in order to create consistency and clarity.”

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