After nearly all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the province on Thursday, mask-wearing in public indoor spaces is no longer mandatory and for some, it’s an unfamiliar sight.
Robinson’s Outdoor Store has decided to allow their staff to make the decision of whether to wear a mask or not, however, most of them are deciding to play it safe.
“It feels really strange,” says Gayle Robinson, Owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store. “After 15 months of all of us wearing masks and happy doing it we made the decision that we would put a sign on the door that says masks are encouraged, but no longer required,” she added.
Saying roughly 90 per cent of their customers are still masking up as well.
“We respect everyone’s decision, everyone’s comfort level. The first concern was to take care of our staff and make sure they’re comfortable,” says Robinson.
As far as restaurants go, Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner is opening up more seating and lifting liquor curfews.
When it comes to masks, they are also leaving them to the discretion of their staff and customers.
“There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s a matter of how people feel,” says Rob Chyzowski, the Owner of Belleville’s. “Whatever makes a person comfortable is great with us,” added Chyzowski.
Mask-wearing is still recommended by health officials when inside public spaces for those who are 12-years-old and up and not yet fully vaccinated.