As Restaurants Open Across NCFL, Some Are Confused About County's Face Mask Requirements

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT
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Restaurants reopening at 25% indoor seating is part of the slow reopening across the state. Restaurants with outdoor seating are able to open at full capacity as long as tables are 6 feet apart.

Ballyhoo grill has also implemented some other changes to keep employees safe.

Bill Reichardt, Owner of Ballyhoo, says, “all of our employees are wearing masks and using gloves when they are clearing tables. And we’re sanitizing everything that we have ever put on the table. We’re using paper menus and throwing them away. So we’re doing everything that we could possibly do to try and protect you and protect my employees.”

Some people in the county feel that it may be unlawful for county commissioners to force people to wear face coverings while in an essential business.

Jordan Marlowe, Mayor of Newberry, says “who has authority to make this call? If we’re going to pass a law and the punishment is still to this date a little unclear what happens to people that don’t wear this mask? Are we going after businesses? Are we going after the individual? I think first, we need to make sure it is legal to have this law.”

The owner of the swamp restaurant, another popular restaurant in Gainesville feels that commissioners were a little unclear on the exact rules for wearing face masks.

Ryan Prodesky says, “it’s a little confusing for everyone on where the face masks are required. Do they need to wear them coming into the restaurant? Take them off? Obviously you can’t eat with a face mask off. I saw part of the commissioners meeting where the commissioners said that restaurants were except from that but I think for everyone in Gainesville, it’s a bit confusing on when they have to wear their masks and when they don’t.”