SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. - San Mateo County entered the least restrictive yellow tier Wednesday. That means bars no longer have to serve food with their drinks, making it easier on bar owners.
"It's a great day. If I didn't have my mask on you would see my smile ear to ear," said Owen Molloy, manager of Molloy's Tavern in Colma.
The yellow tier also means restaurants can function at 50% indoor capacity. But bars are permitted only 25%.
It also means movie theaters, places of worship, wineries, breweries, and food courts can operate at 50% indoors.
Molloy's happens to be located across from a cemetery. And before the pandemic, it hosted many wakes. And now it can do so again.
"The cemeteries are going to allow more people to funerals. And that will allow more people to come here to remember the fallen and toast as a memorial," says Molloy.
"What it means is we get jobs back. We start to build confidence among consumers," says San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.
The loosening of restrictions mean the Evolve Training Center in South San Francisco and other gyms in the county can have 50% capacity, double what it has been.
"So obviously we can have more participants. We are going to offer more classes. We have a new huge facility that's going to support the social distancing aspect," says owner John Janero.
San Francisco is the only other Bay Area county in the yellow tier. All others are one step down in orange except Solano County, which is still in the red tier.
That's because Solano's daily COVID positivity rate has hovered around 2%. It needs to fall below that threshold to move into orange.
A statement from the county health department says:
" Most cases in Solano county are with people under 40 years of age. The good news is that hospital and ICU capacity remain in good standing."
Solano County expects to remain in red until June 15. That's when California plans to reopen the entire state.