Santa Clara County loosened some guidelines Friday while keeping others tightly in place.
It now says if you're six feet apart, and outdoors, masks are no longer required.
"I think we just want a sense of normalcy we haven't had in so many months,” said Lilia Pantoja from San Jose. "We wanna be careful, but we also wanna come out. It's really hard to be at home, and then working remotely, and being able to see a friend once in a while and it thrills you and you want to get out and about."
This is part of a gradual loosening as the county expects to move into the less restrictive red tier next week.
"Hopefully we're heading in the right direction, and getting kids playing sports and back to school will be huge steps,” said Rusty Dehorn of Los Gatos.
But not everything is loosening up yet. If you travel more than 150 miles, you still have to isolate for 10 days when you get back. County leaders say memories of the post-holiday spike are too fresh.
"Especially right now as we have other bay areans out there traveling,” said Ricardo Romero of the Santa Clara County Health Department.“To try to avoid gathering with people they don't live with, to avoid spreading the new variants."
So stay close and see your friend smile with a mask close by.
"It feels good, but at the same time it's nerve-wracking not wearing it, see, that's why I still have it on, you never know, boom, here we go,” said Monica Hernandez of Cupertino.
Santa Clara County residents are also getting closer to going to concerts again.
The new guidelines say people can sing outside without a mask, as long as the audience is six feet away.