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Small business owners consider relaxing mask rules in stores



DALLAS, TX  — Many grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and retail shops across Dallas-Fort Worth are reevaluating their mask policies, in light of guidance issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control.

People were out and about in the busy Bishop Arts retail district on Friday. Many visitors were shopping, dining, and strolling the streets.

”It’s comfortable, you know. It’s quiet,” Mitul Lakha said.

Many of the guests were moving around with and without masks in public.

”Everyone is keeping their space and it’s respectful. It’s quiet, nice and the weather is beautiful,” Lakha explained.

The temperature around wearing masks is changing since the CDC issued new guidance this week. The agency said fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local rules, including local business and workplace guidance.

”I think it’s an exciting step,” said Robert Owen, owner of Mantique.

Owen believes the CDC’s mask guidance is a positive step. Though he says the mask sign will remain on his shop’s front door, for now.

”I don’t know who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t. So, it’s going to be kind of hard as far as that goes, as a store owner. I’m pretty much going to leave it up to the customer whatever they feel comfortable doing,” Owen explained.

Around the corner at Epiphany Boutique, its team is also discussing the mask guidance.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” said owner Sherry Andrus.

The boutique owner said she will be polling her neighbors and getting input from clients about how to move forward.

”The position that I’m going to be taking for the next several days is I will be keeping my mask required sign available by the front door for the customers to see.” Andrus explained.

As far as dining is concerned, the Texas Restaurant Association is working on updating its Texas Restaurant Promise. The organization is also reminding the public that restaurants and other businesses have the right to set their own safety requirements for employees and customers.

In a statement, the Texas Restaurant Association said, in part:

“We trust that Texas restaurants will take into account this latest guidance from the CDC as they continue to update their policies. Above all, restaurants will continue to prioritize the safety and comfort of their employees and guests.”