Local News

Businesses weigh enforcement of mask mandate before it goes into effect Friday

Posted June 25, 2020 5:31 p.m. EDT
Updated June 25, 2020 6:52 p.m. EDT

— On Friday, masks will become mandatory throughout the entire state.

Some communities, including Durham and Raleigh, have had mask mandates in place before the statewide order was announced by Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday.

Until now, wearing a mask in public has pretty much been a choice...even in towns and counties where its mandatory there's been little enforcement, but that changes Friday.

Businesses can be cited for not following the rules, and customers who don't follow the rules can be charged with trespassing. Many businesses are taking a hard line-- no mask, no service.

"If it has to be done, it has to be done," said Stan Best, a Raleigh resident. "There are many times we've had to make sacrifices far worse than this."

Some stores are already offering masks at the door and are prepared to turn people away who won't comply.

"I probably would ask them to leave," said Nicolas Hughes, manager of Bella Vita. "I don't want to get in trouble. i don't want to pay a citation, pay a fine."

Other business owners say it's a tough call.

It's up to the people if they want to wear masks or not," said restaurant owner Mia Longo. "It's not our choice. I'm not going to say you're not going to come in here. I'm not going to call the cops on them. It's business, we need the business right now, especially since we're hurting so bad. I don't think we should be able to be cited because of other people's decisions."

There are exceptions in place to wearing a face covering. These are mostly medical issues that would make it difficult for the person wearing it to breathe. Of course, people who are eating and drinking don't have to wear a mask.

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