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Mask mandate to end across the state on Wednesday

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION-TV) People will be able to take-off their masks, as the COVID mandate comes to an end. The California Department of Public Health announced that California's indoor mask mandate will loosen on Wednesday. 

There are still limitations on who can ditch the mask and where. Even with restrictions in place there’s mixed feelings on the eased mandate. Some people are still hesitant to take-off their masks.

"I drag my son around with me to errands. He doesn't wear a mask, he's only a one and a half and so we're kind of on the fence, but I'd prefer everybody be safer than sorry," said Sean Patrick, from Marina. 

While others think it's time. "It’s been a hassle. You get sick with the mask you get sick with the vaccination, so you know you’re basically going it for the old people so you’re doing it out of kindness,” mentioned Kevin Padilla from Monterey.

California’s statewide indoor mask mandate is set to end at the strike of midnight, Wednesday. However, if you wish to say good-bye to the mask you must be vaccinated.

"It kind of poses the question on how those people are proving that they're vaccinated," added Patrick.

For now, you won't have to wear a mask in grocery stores, restaurants, or workplaces. But, you’ll want to have one handy. Individual locations still get to choose whether they want to require masks. 

"We will not be lifting our mandates on our busses or any of our transit facilities," said Margo Ross, Chief Operations Officer for Santa Cruz Metro. 

If you plan to travel or use public transportation, masks are still required. That’s because they fall under the federal government rules, and the TSA mandate is not up until March. 

"I understand that there's a lot of confusion between the state, the CDC and the federal government. But in order to keep the public safe and our bus operators safe, the public must wear their mask while riding our service and any of our transit properties," continued Ross.

Students, teachers, and staff are also required to wear masks even after Wednesday’s lift. Schools will have to wait until February 28th to revisit masking rules.

The state will also loosen its definition of indoor and outdoor mega events after after new left has been placed. This would mean reducing requirements on vaccine or testing rules for large events.

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.


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