Reactions Mixed as Most Bay Area Counties Lift Indoor Mask Mandates

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As of Wednesday, all but one Bay Area county have lifted their indoor masking mandate for vaccinated people.

It’s now up to small businesses to decide if they want to follow the county's lead or keep asking all customers to mask up.

“I’ve got pockets full of masks, every pocket I have has a mask in it,” said Clifford Wichmann of Danville.

For the last two years, masks became part of everyone’s daily wardrobe.

“On our doorknob at home, we just have 12 or 14 used masks just hanging there,” said Teddy Leyhe of Oakland.

As of Wednesday, All Bay Area counties except for Santa Clara County –ended their indoor masking mandate today for those who are fully vaccinated.

The first thing owner Marty Breen did Wednesday morning was taking off the “Masks Required Inside” signs from his store’s front door in Danville.

“If you don’t have one and you don’t to wear one, we’re fine with that,” he said.

Breen said if it gets crowded inside his running shoes store, he’ll likely ask his staff to mask up.

“We’re close up, we’re down touching their feet,” he said.

Breen added that requiring customers to continue masking up is not the worth the hassle. “When the situation changed back in June, when they lifted the mask mandates, we probably had 10-12 customers within a week, irate at us, screaming at our employees, they don’t want to shop with us anymore,” he said.

Cottage Jewel Owner Marcia Harmon hopes less rules will draw in more customers to downtown.

Others like Teddy Leyhe of Oakland said that masking up is less about following a rule and more about making those around you feel comfortable.

“I do that out of respect for other people,” he said.

At the Arizmendi Bakery in Oakland, owners says they don’t want the masking mandate to end. That’s why they’re offering a 10 percent discount to customers who keep their masks on.

Schools, hospitals, and public transit will still require people to mask up.

In San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, residents and visitors will still be asked to show proof of vaccination when going to bars, restaurants and gyms.

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