By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The COVID countdown to looser restrictions is now less than a week away.

The new rules mean that those who are vaccinated can go maskless in most settings, and those who haven’t been vaccinated will have to continue hiding their face.

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“We are ready,” explained Brian Rose, while shopping in Old Sacramento. “Goodbye masks, let’s start our life again and go back to pre-COVID,” he said.

The rules are mostly on an honor system basis with businesses like Identity Boutique at DOCO making the final decision.

“We’ve tried to be safe the entire time,” said Shane Twilla, co-owner of Identity Boutique.

While preparing for next week, the boutique is trusting their customers and staff to follow state and CDC guidelines.

“Just be safe and love each other, mask up if you have to mask up, and if you don’t, then don’t, but be nice,” explained Twilla.

While businesses have the ability to require proof of vaccination of customers, Flip Flop Shop and Shoes in Old Sacramento is also relying on the honor system with some reservations.

“It’s a little bit anxiety-inducing,” explained assistant manager Sukeya Clark. “We are hoping to trust our community that they will not take advantage of not having the masks when they are not vaccinated,” she explained.

The new rules are bringing mixed emotions on how effective they will be and if everyone will be truthful.

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“I think it’s perfect, I think this should’ve been done a long time ago,” explained Sam Heider

Noelle Rosales plans to still wear a mask even though she is vaccinated.

“I have people I want to protect still, she explained. “As long as I’m still allowed to wear a mask and nobody gives me a hard time about it, then let’s just mind our business and do what we got to do,” she said.

Shoppers like Farah Shah are concerned about those who are unvaccinated taking advantage of the looser restrictions.

“I don’t think the honor system works,” she explained. “I feel like it’s not really fair and the reason why I feel about that is because I’m a mom, said Shah.

Shah’s kids are not vaccinated yet, and she worries those not wearing a mask could put her kids at risk.

Doctor Dean Blumberg with UC Davis believes that with high vaccination rates statewide, those who decide to go maskless without immunity will likely not cause a major spike in cases.

“In that case, the risk is mostly to them. So, they are going to get sick because they aren’t masked. For those who are vaccinated, the vaccine works very well,” he explained.

Despite the positive trend in vaccination rates, Blumberg said his greatest concerns are for those who are not eligible to receive the vaccine, like children under the age of 12.

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“If unvaccinated people unknowingly infect those who are unable to be vaccinated like children, that would be a tragedy,” he said.

Velena Jones