CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Some businesses in the South Bay expressed concern this week about potentially losing revenue over a new statewide mask mandate that went into effect Wednesday.
The mandate was issued by state public health officials amid a rise in COVID-19 infection rates since Thanksgiving. It is expected to remain in place until Jan. 15, officials said. In San Diego County and elsewhere, it means face coverings are required in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
Since the new requirement went into place, Novo Brazil Brewing Co. general manager Leo Bauer said the Chula Vista-based brewery had one party cancel its Friday plans there.
Bauer acknowledged stricter pandemic rules typically are seen before holidays, possibly acting as a deterrent for some to visit the brewery.
“Always before big holidays, something happen to make people feel a little afraid of the virus,” he said, “and maybe slow down the party and stay more at home with family.”
In any case, Bauer said he’s enforcing the mask mandate at Novo in an effort to play it safe. Only one customer thus far has now complied with the mandate.
“He just said, ‘I’m not going to wear a mask to walk inside a business,’ and I’m sorry,” Bauer said. “The rules are the rules. Therefore, we got to follow the rules.”
That opinion isn’t shared by some local officials, however. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey both said this week they don’t plan to enforce the statewide mandate. Elsewhere in San Francisco and Los Angeles, those areas are able to continue following their own mask mandates since they went into effect prior to Monday’s announcement.
But at Namaste Fitness, staffers are cranking up standard COVID safety protocols with temperature checks and mask requirements.
“It’s a good protection,” manager and yoga instructor Julieta Gil said. “Not a lot of people love it. I kind of got used to it, personally. People have mentioned that I got used to wearing it.”
Although some gyms told FOX 5 they’re concerned membership will dip while masks are required, Namaste Fitness said its membership is increasing as San Diegans look for relief during the pandemic.
“Actually people have been coming in for – new people for the yoga – the wellness of the mind that helps with everything that is going on around,” Gil said.