HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – In less than a day the Alabama statewide mask order will be coming to an end. While some are rejoicing at a sense of normalcy, others like restaurants, corporate chains, and locally owned businesses are saying, “not so fast.”
Owners like Caitlyn Lyon of Pizzelle’s Confections in the Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainments district is opting to strictly enforce masks being worn in her establishment, for the time being.
“It feels close and if we just keep masks and distancing, for a little while longer that maybe by summertime, things will be back to normal or somewhat normal,” Lyon told News 19.
According to city officials at the Madison County COVID briefing on Thursday, numbers of hospitalizations have gone down and vaccine numbers have gone up. While those numbers are a good step in the right direction, Lyon says she’s looking at the bigger picture.
“We also have to think about the safety of our staff and they’re here all day for the entire shift. It might be low risk for a customer to come in with a mask and be here for 10 minutes, but our staff is here all day, exposed to everyone that comes in.”
Family is what Lyon considers not only her staff but all of her customers who come through the door, “We’ve been open for eight years, you build a relationship,” and she says it’s her responsibility to take care of her family and anyone else who comes to the store.
While patrons have never rarely given Lyon or her sister a problem about masks, Lyon says she or her sister will step in and ask a customer to put a mask on, if her associates feel uncomfortable.
“My sister and I are happy to step in and enforce that and we do have disposable masks here if someone just forgets. We have had one or two people who may have completely forgot and they were perfectly fine to take one of the disposable masks that we provide. But, if someone flat out refuses then we’ll have to ask them to leave.”
At the briefing, Mayor Tommy Battle also said while it’s a choice to wear a mask after 5 p.m. on April 9th, it’s also an establishment’s choice to ask you to wear one, “If you enter a store that requires masks, we would ask that you honor that stores policy. If you choose not to shop at that store, you can leave if you don’t want to wear a mask.”
Lowe Mill is requiring that all those who are on the premise wear a mask, they also have a security guard on Saturdays, but Lyons says she doesn’t think it’ll get to that point.
If you don’t agree with their stance, that’s ok! Lyon says you can call in an order and they’ll run it out to your car.
For the growing list of restaurants and businesses in the area that will require a mask after the mandate ends, click here.