What does the updated mask order mean for local bars and restaurants?

What does mask order means for bars, restaurants?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday that the five-week extension would allow businesses time to make adjustments to their policies, now that the mask mandate is set to end on April 9th and Alabama’s restaurants and bars can remove seating limits

But the owners of EastWest Restaurant and Queen’s Park Bar said nothing much will change at their venues, at least for the foreseeable future.

“We’re going to continue to operate as we have been,” said EastWest Owner, Colby Conklin.

He said seating limits have actually made it easier to serve customers. So, that’s one by-product of the pandemic he’s likely to keep.

“We love to be able to take care of and really serve as many people as possible throughout a given night, and I know that sometimes when you have a large party like a 10 top or even a 12 top it makes it tough,” Conklin said.

Gov. Ivey’s updated order means partitions will still need to be used if tables can’t be spaced six feet apart. But bars and restaurants won’t have to police facial coverings leaving it up to owners and operators to decide if they’ll enforce mask policies.

But safety will still come first at Queen’s Park Bar.

“Once we learn more about whether or not people who have been vaccinated can’t actually spread the virus to those who are unvaccinated, it’s important that we do everything in our power to be responsible not just as business owners, but as members of the community,” said Owner of Queen’s Park Bar, Laura Newman.

Conklin and Newman said it’s extremely important to also keep their employee safes as mandates begin to relax, especially since they are inside these businesses for long periods of time.

They said they will continue to follow the data and make adjustments along the way.

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