Face masks could soon be required at Madison Co. shops, restaurants

Businesses respond to possible mask mandate

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Most business owners in Alabama have been able to decide whether or not to make wearing a mask mandatory. But for business owners in Madison County, that could change as early as next week.

The Madison County Board of Health wrote an order this week that would require masks in all public spaces, including shops and walking into restaurants.
The Madison County Board of Health wrote an order this week that would require masks in all public spaces, including shops and walking into restaurants. (Source: WAFF)

One of the owners, Dink Taylor says they’ve taken a proactive approach since opening back up.

“Hand sanitizer, face masks required to come shop in the store.”

Taylor says at all 180 locations they’re requiring employees and customers to wear masks. He says they’re choosing to turn customers away for refusing to mask up.

“We have to pay an employee to stand at the door. You greet them and say we ask you to sanitize your hands and put on a mask,” Taylor said.

And if you don’t have one…

“We typically spend anywhere from $100-200 a day on masks for customers.”

Taylor says requiring customers to wear a mask is not hurting their bottom line.

“Our sales are higher than they’ve ever been before and we’re requiring masks. So don’t knock it till you try it,” Taylor said.

The owner of Off the Rack Consignment Boutique says about 75 percent of the people who come in choose not to wear a mask. But she will have to start enforcing it if the mandate passes.

“It’s more important for us to stay healthy, protect ourselves as well as others. So in this kind of situation, all though its inconvenient, I support it,” says owner Rachel Rutledge.

The mask requirement does have an exception. It’s for customers eating and drinking in public. But you’ll have to wear one when you walk into a restaurant.

“As long as it’s keeping the general population safe, that’s kind of the same thing as any kind of health regulation so it kind of is our job to do that,” says Vinny’s Greek & Indian Grill manager, Melinda Appleby.

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