Restaurants choose sides on state’s mask advisory

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Restaurants are landing on different sides of the fence when it comes to Indiana’s mask advisory. Some are requiring them and some aren’t.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced two weeks ago plans to lift statewide covid-19 restrictions including capacity limits and the mask mandate that had been in place since July. Any restrictions will now be up to local governments and individual businesses. Although, the governor could re-impose a mandate, if cases rise.

The 07 Pub posted a picture on their Facebook page Tuesday with the words “Please mask up,” with a caption saying, “We will still require our staff and patrons to continue to wear masks inside our building until further notice. We’re committed to doing our part to be as safe as possible.”

816 Pint & Slice is clear that their workers will be required to wear masks. For their customers, it’s encouraged.

“We would love it if everybody would keep their mask on if they come in, but you do not have to,” said manager Rachel Valenza. “It’s not required to wear your masks.”

Country Heritage Winery is similar in that employees are required to wear masks, but for customers it’s optional. Operations Manager Ashlee Baumgartner said it’s relieving that the mask mandate is gone.

“To be honest there was always pressure,” she said. “Pressure both ways. When someone does not want to wear a mask, then you’re forced to enforce it and ask them to wear a mask. When they’re getting angry, it’s not fun to put your employees in that position being forced to enforce that as well. That’s not something anyone enjoys doing. That’s not the fun part.”

Governor Holcomb said the mask restrictions were lifted because current COVID-19 cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths have all dropped drastically, and the vaccine roll-out is going well.

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