Businesses in San Mateo County officially entered the least-restrictive reopening yellow tier Wednesday.
People now have more options and a different attitude as bars and restaurants reopen to bigger capacity.
Manuel Martinez, owner and chef of LV Mar bar in Redwood City has had to close and reopen, and layoff and rehire workers several times during the pandemic.
The recent move to the yellow tier allows him to run the bar at his restaurant even when he's not serving food, increase indoor capacity and book corporate gatherings. The new changes are already paying off.
"My feeling now is different than two months ago when I didn’t know, but now things are getting busier," he said.
Customers are encouraged by having more outdoor options and less restrictions, as well.
"It’s nice to eat out," Redwood City resident Linda de Oliviera said. "I think being in the yellow tier just takes that ‘stress’ off you."
San Mateo County manager Mike Callagy agrees and said following guidelines paid off.
"It’s significant both economically and emotionally for a lot of people to know that we’re making progress," he said, "and this is really a credit to those who followed the guidelines; wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing. More importantly, getting that vaccine."