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With uncertainty over Wisconsin’s mask mandate, some businesses will enforce their own rules

The Wisconsin Assembly postponed a vote on repealing the state’s mask order
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Jake’s Pizza has been around since the 1970s, although it’s changed ownership over the years.

With such a loyal following, co-owner of Jake’s Pizza Brook Sanders said it’s important customers and staff feel comfortable dining inside during a pandemic.

“We sanitize everything anybody touches, whether it’s menus, a chair, the bar, you name it,” Sanders said.

After much expectation that the Republican-controlled legislature would repeal Wisconsin’s mask mandate, the Assembly decided on Thursday not to hold a vote on the matter.

Whatever the Wisconsin Assembly ends up doing with the current mandate, customers at Jake’s will be required to wear one.

“It’s just been difficult to deal with the general public that doesn’t understand why we ask people to wear masks, because we have a business to protect, we have employees to protect, and most importantly, we have our customers,” Sanders said.

Located in downtown Green Bay, Nectar sells vegan and gluten free foods and products. While customers aren’t required to have a mask on, Brent Prechtl said he wears one when dealing with people.

“I definitely don’t think that the mandates of masks are going to help anything. I definitely believe in wearing masks in a certain situation, so I’m definitely not against that,” Prechtl, who owns Nectar, said. “But, I think people need to have a choice.”

Some customers have walked out of establishments after they were told they needed a mask, according to several businesses Action 2 News interviewed for this report.

Zambaldi Beer opened in January of 2020 and they’ve dealt with people not wanting to abide by mask wearing.

“We do offer disposable masks if people have forgotten their masks,” Abigail Malcolm said. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to comply with what we feel are the best safety practices.”

Abigail and David Malcolm own the brewery Zambaldi Beer, which includes a taproom. They plan to require patrons to wear face coverings unless they’re drinking or eating.

“If folks don’t feel comfortable coming in, we still offer curbside,” David Malcolm said.

There’s a concern that if the mandate is repealed, people would lose the incentive to wear a mask although Wisconsin Republicans said the point of the repeal is because Governor Tony Evers exceeded his authority.

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