Business owners offer, request honesty amid new CDC mask guidelines

The sign on Allison Bernardi’s business, Hazel + Dot, makes it as clear as possible: "For fully vaccinated adults, we’re not requiring masks, for people who have not been fully vaccinated, we ask that they still wear a mask. Or if anyone is comfortable wearing a mask, we invite them to do that."

Bernardi says, for the last year, her shop has been following CDC guidelines. Thursday’s announcement that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask was no exception.

"I was a little surprised, it seemed a little sudden, but we trust the CDC," she said.

But the CDC guidelines trust that people will be truthful about whether they are vaccinated.

Business owners like Anna Maria Oyster Bar owner John Horne have no way of knowing -- which, he says, is confusing.

"You know, before I put a sign on our restaurant that says, ‘Hey if you see one of our staff without a mask, that means they’re vaccinated,’ how do I ensure they’re truly vaccinated without violating their privacy?"

President Biden said on Thursday that it comes down to honesty.

"It's not an enforcement thing; we're not going to go out and arrest people," Biden said. "But the fact of the matter is, I still believe the vast majority of people care about the safety of their neighbors."  

It’s something Bernardi echoed.

"We’re hoping that, with us being open and honest with customers and telling them we’re vaccinated and comfortable not wearing our masks, customers will do the same and be honest with us," she added.

Like many parts of the pandemic, they say, they’re learning as they go.

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