People ‘usually congenial’ to in-business mask mandate


'No mask, no service' mandate takes effect Tuesday in Washington

CAMAS, Wash. (KOIN) — The new ‘no mask, no service” mandate in Washington state takes effect Tuesday, but most businesses appear to already be following the new rules.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued the mandate last week. Businesses will be required to have all employees and customers wear face coverings.

A bartender wears a clear plastic mask inside a Camas-area bar, July 6, 2020 (KOIN)

One business owner who spoke with KOIN 6 News — and asked to not be identified — admitted they’re just not comfortable telling someone to leave their establishment if they’re set on not wearing one.

However, masks are now a common sight inside most Clark County businesses. These establishments have been following social distancing rules and disinfecting surfaces since they were allowed to reopen in Phase 2.

Many pubs and restaurants are preparing for the new rule by providing masks and hand sanitizer to customers who forget their masks or don’t have one. Employees and customers who spoke with KOIN 6 News on Monday generally think the mandatory mask rule is a good idea.

Pubs and restaurants like A Beer At A Time in Camas have been socially distancing since they were allowed to reopen. The bar remains closed but bartenders remain busy and remind customers about the new rule.

Todd Barto and Linda Lorenz, who were having lunch inside Washougal’s historic Big Foot Inn, fully support the mandate.

“I’m 100% behind it. I just have to put mine on when I leave the house,” he said.

Lorenz said it steams up her glasses a bit “but it’s definitely worth it. I don’t want anyone spreading it to me and I don’t want to spread it to anyone.”

“For the most part people are usually congenial towards it,” a hardware store employee told KOIN 6 News. “We’ve only lost one or two customers who would not come in. But then we
had someone come in yesterday and said they wouldn’t shop with us because
we weren’t enforcing the mask rule. We just said it was recommended.”

Inslee said it’s a reasonable expectation for businesses to enforce the law because it affects the safety of their employees and customers.

Businesses that don’t comply could face fines or potential closure from the state. People with certain health conditions and children under the age of 2 don’t have to wear face coverings.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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