SAN DIEGO — More than a year ago, California issued ever-evolving rules, a colored tier system and mandates requiring people to wear face coverings indoors to combat the COVID-19 virus.
Since then, a lot has happened; over 60% of San Diegans have been vaccinated, and new case rates have plummeted to double digits. The day has finally come for California to lift the COVID rules and reopen the state.
Timothy Parker owns Chula Vista Brewery, the lifting of these restrictions will mean more customers filling his taproom.
“So June 15th, it’s somewhat getting back to normalcy. Not fully there, but it’s close enough,” Parker said. “We can get back to 100% capacity. Before we were just at 25%. Now we can just let people walk in. They can sit down where they like. We can become a community brewery again.”
June 15 also means the end of requiring masks inside businesses for vaccinated people. I thought I would see more people without masks, but I was hard-pressed to find one. I’ll admit, I felt strange walking into North Park Produce without a mask on. I spoke to shopper Edris Wahab on why he continues to wear one.
“Habit!” said Wahab. “Not everyone is vaccinated and I’m going to my kid’s school and stuff, so I'm comfortable with it.”
You still need to wear a mask at a K-12 school, doctor’s office or hospital and while riding public transportation. While you do need to be vaccinated to not wear a mask, the businesses I spoke to, will not be asking customers if they’ve gotten the shot.
As for Parker and the Chula Vista Brewery, employees will remain masked for customers' safety, but will start putting things away from a bygone era.
“The temperature checks, we’re actually going to leave that there because you never know when it’s going to change again,” said Parker. “If not it will become a relic to remember.”
WATCH: San Diego County delivers final scheduled COVID-19 briefing on June 15