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Businesses react to NYS lifting mask mandate for fully vaccinated people

Posted at 7:32 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 19:32:09-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For many people, working out with a mask on isn’t easy.

“I’m not going to miss the way we’ve been running the gym…going around ‘cover your nose, social distance',” said Catalyst Fitness Owner Amy Bueme.

Bueme says NYS lifting the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people is a gift.

“We want people to be vaccinated. We want people to tell the truth,” she said.

It’s simple. Per CDC guidelines, and beginning Wednesday in New York State, if you’re fully vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask in most settings. If you’re not, masks are still recommended.

Masks will still be required in many public places like schools and on public transit, but private businesses can choose.

At Catalyst, Bueme says it’s going to be an honor system.

“If you’re not vaccinated, please wear your mask,” she said.

“We have to be on the honor system, that’s all we can do,” said Brandon Carr of The Quarter.

Carr says lifting the mask mandate for his customers is a positive step in the right direction. As of Monday, the midnight curfew for bars and restaurants is lifted for places with outdoor seating - that means restaurants and bars like The Quarter can stay open until 4:00 a.m. if they choose.

Carr says the mask mandate won’t change his business much as long as the 6-foot social distance rules are still at play.

Grocery store chains like Dash’s say it will allow fully vaccinated customers to go mask-less.

The Lexington Co Op says it will still require masks in store.

Tops says “We are currently seeking to understand all aspects of the a potential change in our mask requirements before any modifications are made.”