SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As of Friday morning, fully vaccinated individuals can now go unmasked at certain indoor places in San Francisco and Marin counties, according to health officials.

The relaxed rules apply for offices, gyms and certain other settings with 100% full vaccination, as COVID-19 cases recede and vaccination requirements for employees of businesses go into effect, health officials announced last week.

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The revised mandate, which went into effect Friday, exempts the mask requirement in what officials described as “select” settings with 100% vaccination. All of the following requirements must be followed:

  • The host, employer or organizer has verified all individuals are fully vaccinated.
  • No more than 100 people are present.
  • The setting is not open to the general public.
  • A list of all individuals present is maintained.

Officials said additional indoor settings covered by the revised mask mandate included employee commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, and college classes.

While the rules have officially been relaxed, some San Francisco residents told KPIX they would likely remain cautious.

“I feel a little nervous that they’re lifting it at the gym and they’re lifting it in a lot of places now,” said Liz Watson as she passed through the Castro District in San Francisco on her way to work.

“Precautions are for everybody,” said San Francisco resident Michael Thorpe.
“You take on what your community takes on. If you see one person wearing a mask, it’s likely that there are other people in your community that needs you to wear a mask too, whether you want to or not.”

When asked if she would be keeping her mask on in the locations where rules were relaxed, Watson replied, “I think for now. We’ll see how it progressed but for now yeah. I just worry that it’s too soon, but I also know the rest of the country is kind of going the same way.”

At EHS Pilates in the Mission, owner Tracey Sylvester couldn’t stop smiling.

“This is the very first time in my studio with out a mask – since the last mandate. We had this brief window of two weeks at June 15th when the city was re-opening and then get pulled back,” she told KPIX.

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Her studio has an internal system to make sure clients ready to work their core and stretch are fully vaccinated.

“It’s obvious that he’s been fully vetted and vaccine verified. It’s an internal system that makes it very clear, right away for anyone walking through the front door,” said Sylvester. “The desk knows who you are, the trainer knows.”

UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong says this relaxing of mask rules is much different than the June 15th statewide re-opening.

“It came back to bite us. Every time when you look at the pandemic, California has been very, very slow; certainly in the Bay Area,” he said. “I think we’ve definitely learned from that lesson with this sort of phased or staged approach.”

At SoMa financial tech company Fast, employees were already taking advantage, gathering around a common table instead of logging into Zoom for a meeting.

“It’s nice to be able to come into the office and see your colleague smile again and just be able to read emotions differently that way,” said Senior Global Corporate Communications Manager for Fast Nele Heinemann.

Contra Costa County health officials announced Thursday the county will join San Francisco and Marin County in the loosening of mask requirements on November 1st. Other Bay Area counties will follow once they meet the criteria to lift masking rules.

Under state and federal laws, all people must continue wearing a mask on public transportation and in schools and hospitals.

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Andria Borba contributed to this report.