Businesses and Mask Mandates


Lenora Lee, Writer

With Governor Kay Ivey’s decision to not renew the mask mandate (along with multiple other state governors), Alabama businesses are having to make the difficult decision on whether or not to extend their own mandates.

Many companies chose to uphold the mask rule for both employees and customers. Gigantic corporate grocery stores such as Walmart, Target, and Publix fall under this list because of the mass amounts of incoming customers every day. 

Local businesses, however, are swinging both ways. They have the dilemma between protecting their customers/employees and possibly losing sales because of the rules. Because multiple front-line workers are in their teens, many of them still have not had the chance to be vaccinated. A lot of local businesses realize the dangers involved and care for their fellow employees’ safety.

Local businesses such as Toyota Field, the Vaun Braun Center, Mason Dixon Bakery, Advances Eyecare, S&J Produce, and St John the Baptist Catholic Church are still requiring masks for both visitors and employees. On the other side, establishments such as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Johnny Grylls, Pints and Pixels, and Whiskers have mask-optional policies for both employees and visitors. There are also multiple businesses that only require masks for employees and not customers like the YMCA and the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. 

One major factor within the changing mask mandates is also the constant effort by employees to remind customers of wearing a mask. Even if the company requires them for entrance, there is no guarantee that all patrons involved will wear them correctly or the whole time. 

Out of a student given poll, 61.3% of participants thought that businesses should still require masks, 29% did not have a preference, and 9.7% said they shouldn’t. Only 16% of these participants had a job and worked the front lines. 51.9 % also said they were going to get vaccinated, and 25.9% already had been vaccinated. 

As the COVID numbers decrease and more people are vaccinated, masks might be a thing of the past soon.