FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Now just hours away from June 15, the day California is fully reopening its economy, Central Valley residents can expect to see different rules depending on the business they walk into.
State health officials said starting Tuesday, those who are fully vaccinated can take off their masks except in certain settings, including while riding public transportation, in K-12 schools while indoors, in healthcare settings, in correctional facilities, and in homeless and emergency shelters.
And soon fully vaccinated employees in workplaces could be allowed to take off their masks too.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said that if Cal/OSHA votes to adopt its proposal that would allow vaccinated employees to take off their masks in the workplace, he would sign an executive order that would allow them to do so as soon as Thursday.
But still, masking requirements may look different depending on the business.
Regina Barbato, the owner of The Hair Bar Salon in Fresno, said they’re still waiting for direction from the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
“We answer to them for fines, so we have to wait for their guidelines,” Barbato said.
So for now, masks will stay on in her salon.
And as businesses may not know who is and isn’t vaccinated, state health officials said they can choose to: allow customers to self-attest, implement a vaccine verification system or require everyone to wear a mask.
“You’re gonna have one business that has no requirement for masking and other businesses that will choose to play it safe and require people to mask up, and we’re all as business owners all doing our best,” said Scott Miller, the president and CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.
“I would hope everybody would just have a little bit of empathy for the businesses that are still going to require masking. They probably have a reason and just be nice to them,” Miller added.
Samuel Akoidu, the owner of Iron Bird Fit in the Tower District, said they just want people to do what they feel comfortable doing.
“It’s just based on how comfortable they are, whether or not they want to keep their mask,” Akoidu said.
Akoidu added that trainers will wear a mask if members feel more comfortable with them doing so.
“If they want us to wear a mask, we’ll wear one. For sure,” Akoidu said.
At Salon Posh, owner Tanya Garza said they are not asking clients for their vaccination status.
“It’s pretty much up to the customer. If they want to wear their mask or if they don’t want to wear their mask, it’s up to them. We’re still gonna have the sanitizer for them to use,” Garza said.
But despite masking rules, being able to open at full capacity is something many business owners have been waiting for.
“What would happen is you’d build traction and then we’d close down and then we’d just have to start all the way over again. It was actually a very difficult year but thankfully things are loosening up,” Akoidu said.