CONCORD, Calif. (KRON) – Now that the state has loosened COVID-19 health and safety protocols, stores are following suit.

People are hopeful that life is getting a lot closer to normal.

“Oh, I think we’re probably on the right path,” customer Mary-Lou Lucas said. 

Customers at Costco in Concord feel less restricted shopping in public and more comfortable now that about 70-percent of Contra Costa County residents 12 years of age or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing them to ditch the mask.

“It feels great. It feels freedom,” customer Sharon Dilley said.

The wholesaler also posted outside the front entrance that it is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, as well as state and local regulations.

Fully-vaccinated shoppers are allowed in without a face mask or shield.

Those who have not been inoculated are encouraged to continue covering up but Costco says it will not require proof of vaccination.

“Even if I was vaccinated, there are still blood-borne pathogens. There are still airborne pathogens going on out there. Just because the numbers in COVID have went down, that don’t mean we’ve cured all diseases,” customer Butler Foster said.

In Martinez, on Alhambra Avenue, the Safeway store and CVS Pharmacy have relaxed their masking mandates.

Face coverings are recommended for customers at CVS but signage shows masking is no longer required.

Safeway says masks are still required for non-vaccinated customers. Fully-vaccinated patrons can shop without one.

“I mean, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re fully vaccinated, right? So, yeah, you don’t have to wear it, but I mean, I’m still going to wear mine,” customer Dave Tehaney said.

“Rip them off. Breathe in the fresh air,” a customer said. 

For the first time in a long time, it’s officially ok to do so.

At Just For Fun in San Francisco, all employees are continuing to wear a face-covering as required until Cal/OSHA updates its workplace rules.

That is supposed to happen on Thursday and the governor has promised to issue an executive order to make those new rules take effect immediately, but some stores are in no rush.