SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Some people can't wait to burn their masks, others said they might feel naked without them.
After more than a year of restrictions sparking debate, Governor Gavin Newsom said the mask mandate will be lifted on Tuesday, June 15.
Newsom said health leaders came up with the recommendation. Critics of the governor think it may have more to do with politics and the recall effort he faces.
Now that COVID-19 appears to be a preventable virus due to vaccines, restrictions are easing faster than some people expected.
Linda Playman wears two masks, one with whiskers over another thin blue medical mask. She said the mask mandate change will take getting used to.
"Now we are coming back, and it is great, but it kind of takes a little time for some of us emotionally to get back into the swing of things," Playman said. "I'll eventually stop wearing my masks, but for right now my kitty is fine."
A State Street shopper visiting from Massachusetts said she feels safe without a mask in California where the COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are going down.
Laurie Van Gelder said, "The mask thing needs to go, I can't do it anymore."
Another visitor from Los Angeles said he used to come up to Santa Barbara to get away from the lockdown restrictions in the city. He said it was like East Berlin vs West Berlin, even at the beach.
Another person enjoying a beer said it will be easier to recognize friend's faces without masks.
Another man who was recently vaccinated said people have to take personal responsibility for their health without a mask mandate.
Newsom said workplace restrictions could also be lifted soon depending on the recommendations of health leaders.