Greensboro business owners weigh requiring masks with state easing mask mandate

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Facing the face mask freedom.

Some people are happy they’re able to be bare-faced, but others are not ready to shed their shield just yet.

On Monday, North Carolina health officials reported a 4.7 percent positivity rate, with close to 700 new cases of COVID-19.

But in downtown Greensboro, plenty of signs were up, requiring people to put on a face-covering before entry.

“Let’s just keep masking, you know,” said Brian Lampkin.

At Scuppernong Books on Elm Street, co-owner Lampkin wrote on the chalkboard that guests must wear masks.

“I think our customers at least rely on us to make decisions in their best interest,” he said.

But it can be tricky.

“We’re not going to ask people if they’re vaccinated,” Lampkin said. “That doesn’t feel right.”

That’s why Alex Amoroso is keeping his sign on the door of Cheesecake’s by Alex.

“How do you determine who is vaccinated and who’s not?” Amoroso said. “We all don’t wear a stamp on our forehead that says we were vaccinated.”

He’s requiring his staff to keep their masks on and encouraging customers to do it too.

“There’s always that thing in the back of your head saying, what’s going to happen? Well we don’t know,” Amoroso said.

Enforcement is the challenging part.

“As confrontational as people have been in the past, when it was mandated in the government, now it’s not,” he said. “It’s totally on the owner, on the business owner, to manage this.”

In a very polite notice on the front door of Machete, Tal Blevins is asking his guests to be responsible and honest.

“We’re just not looking forward to getting into it with customers. We’re going to trust them,” he said.

Trust is an issue the public is dealing with, too.

Business owners are a little concerned that they may feel the impact.

“I do worry that some people who have been very responsible and very cautious up until now, who were starting to come out to eat, might be a little cautious… not sure if their neighbor next to them, at the table next to them is vaccinated,” Blevins said.

“To do all this work and get the vaccines in place, and then to overact so quickly, that would be devastating,” Lampkin said.

Lampkin, Blevins, and Amoroso all told FOX8 they plan to wait a couple of weeks to see if COVID cases spike before deciding whether they’ll take down the signs.

When FOX8 stopped by businesses in downtown Greensboro Monday afternoon, most customers were wearing masks.

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