Businesses adapting to new face covering guidelines

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Several businesses are scrapping their mask policies while others are keeping them in place for now. It’s now up to each business to make its own decision on face coverings.

The recent change by the CDC says people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can go without a mask in most situations. The new guidelines have had a domino effect with businesses and even events, but some places already weren’t enforcing mask wearing.

Burkel’s One Block Over is located in the stadium district, and the tavern is not enforcing COVID protocols.

“I think it’s on its way out,” owner Kevin Burkel said. “You know, we’ve been very loose with the restrictions since day 1. As loose as we have been able to be, we’ve been.”

Burkel said he’s looking forward to making up for lost income as Lambeau Field is expected to be at full capacity this fall.

“I think people are all ready to go out and just give it... been cooped up for over a year,” he said.

National retailers including Target, Home Depot, Pick n Save and CVS are still keeping their mask requirements in place but are re-evaluating them.

Some downtown shops, like Nectar, had a loose mask policy, and they’re counting on remote workers to return to the office building.

As several municipalities adjust their mask mandates, the City of Appleton is ending its mass vaccination site at the end of this month.

“What we know is that that vaccine not only protects you from disease and death but more importantly it prevents you from transmitting it to others,” Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht said.

The decision by the CDC to allow vaccinated Americans to ditch the masks came on the heels of several outdoor events scheduled in the Fox Valley in the next few weeks.

“We understand that some people may be apprehensive, and we respect those choices, but we will be adding additional hand sanitizer stations. We will be, you know, taking steps to you know reinforce safe behavior,” Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Becky Bartoszek said.

Private businesses can make their own decisions about face coverings. The CDC still urges everyone to wear a mask on public transportation, and most airlines require it to fly.

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