Business owners left to decide mask mandate

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - It’s all about ushering in a new phase of the pandemic as the Centers for Disease Control last week released new guidance for fully vaccinated people, saying those who are fully vaccinated can part ways with their masks in most places.

The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

The final decision for stores and restaurants is being left up to business owners.

At Blazer’s Restaurant & Bakery in Ashland, staff who have been fully vaccinated aren’t required to wear a mask.

“If you don’t feel comfortable, you’re more than welcome to ask your server to put their mask on. We’re happy to do that. They have got their masks in their pockets,” said Jessica Pereira, owner of Blazer’s Restaurant & Bakery. “We know some people aren’t comfortable doing that [being around others unmasked]. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make people feel more comfortable to come out.”

As for El Colonial Mexican Restaurant, they’re choosing to hold onto their mask policy just a little longer.

“We don’t know if we’re ready to take masks out [out of the picture] because we have so many people, different people coming to the restaurant, but we believe it can be soon,” said Joaquin Molinos, manager at El Colonial Mexican Restaurant.

While comfort levels differ on the easement of restrictions, these business owners have one thing in common: they both feel like better days are ahead.

“Every day is better than the day before. We’re looking forward to our barstools coming back, to seeing people in our patio, and seeing our dining room at 100% capacity again,” Pereira said.

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