Marin, San Mateo Counties Move Out of Most Restrictive COVID-19 Tier

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Marin and San Mateo counties on Tuesday moved into the red tier in the state's COVID-19 guidance, allowing limited-capacity for indoor dining, gyms and movie theaters, according to the state.

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

A move to the red tier means movie theaters and indoor dining can resume with limited capacity, as can gyms and fitness centers.

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, 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."

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 ball room, weren‘t used pre-pandemic, so on Wednesday, even with just 25% of indoor tables available, there’ll 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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