Businesses in Marin, San Mateo Counties Open for Indoor Operations

The two counties move into the red tier, allowing restaurants, gyms, theaters to open doors

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Businesses in Marin and San Mateo counties Wednesday morning welcomed back customers for indoor operations as some COVID-19 restrictions were eased in those regions.

After the two counties on Tuesday moved into the state's red tier for COVID-19 reopening guidance, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters are now allowed to open their doors for indoor service with limited capacity.

Hundreds of businesses in two Bay Area counties are scrambling to get ready for Wednesday’s move from the purple tier to the less restrictive red tier. Terry McSweeney reports.

The two counties were the only ones in the Bay Area to have restrictions eased, according to the state COVID-19 website.

Sausalito Fitness Club, which owner Joubert Caston will open Wednesday for the first time in three months, will be limited to 10% capacity, meaning instead of 50 customers, he’ll have five at a time.

"At this point just being here is a blessing," he said. "Five people is better than no people. Something is better than nothing."

San Mateo and Marin counties can loosen some coronavirus-related restrictions now that they've been moved to the less restrictive red reopening tier. Scott Budman reports.

Sausalito Fitness Club has spent tens of thousands of dollars on anti COVID measures including photo catalytic oxidation devices.

"It’s supposed to kill 99.6% of viruses and bacteria on surfaces," said Caston.

Down the street at Spinnaker restaurant, the outside seating was busy Tuesday night. Outdoor seating and the tables in the ballroom, weren‘t used pre-pandemic, so on Wednesday, even with just 25% of indoor tables available, there will be more seating capacity than ever.

"That gives us about 40 to 50 tables plus the outside," said general manager Nelson Julian. "We actually have a little more seating room than we had before."

With coronavirus case rates dropping in the Bay Area, some counties were expecting the move out of the restrictive purple tier. Officials with San Mateo and Marin counties as early as Monday were preparing business owners for a shift to the red tier in anticipation of an announcement from the governor’s office. 

Restaurants in downtown Redwood City are ready to welcome diners inside again.

"This business is bringing a lot of original servers back, original bartenders back, so I think a lot of people are going to come back and get their restaurant job back," Gabino Mora from Marufuku Ramen said.

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