SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) On Tuesday, California fully reopens on June 15th, meaning the state will be shedding its color-coded tier system and doing away with most mask requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.
With the sudden and abrupt change, how are residents feeling about about the reopening and being maskless?
At Fire Fish Grill in Santa Cruz, the manager was busy working during this big reopening day with the restaurant operating at full capacity.
"Today we came back to the full capacity. We feel great, we're looking for people to come and enjoy the summer. We're very happy that everything is turning around," said Sabastian Nobile, manager at Fire Fish Grill.
Tuesday brought a whole slew of changes for those who are fully vaccinated, being able to attend most outdoor and indoor settings without a mask. This change also means that capacity and social distancing limits are also lifted.
Some tourists who flew in from Florida, tell KION they had worried their vacation might have been hindered by California's restrictions but were happily surprised.
"We came here to Santa Cruz today and so far it's felt a lot like Florida to me. We got to go out to have dinner and we had a really nice evening and we saw a lot of people feeling for the most part safe," said Jared Gralton, a tourist.
Some college students visiting Santa Cruz were feeling optimistic but expressed some concerns regarding California's honor system in regards to vaccine verification.
"Mixed feelings, definitely a lot of excitement, it's like delayed gratification but also kind of weird that there's no verification for if your vaccinated or not," said Alice Matthews.
Others expressed feeling slightly exposed without their mask.
Masks are still required in some settings like public transit, K-12 classrooms, healthcare settings, and homeless shelters.