Local business reacts to expiration date for state mask mandate

Alabama's mask mandate expires in April, how will business owners adjust?

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - The first thing to greet you when you walk into many businesses is a reminder of Alabama’s mask mandate.

But, after April 9th, that mandate goes away.

“Our new modified order includes several changes that will ease up some of our current restrictions while keeping our mask order in place another five weeks through April 9th, but let me be abundantly clear, after April 9th, I will not keep the mask order in effect,” said Governor Kay Ivey.

Riverbottom Grille is a popular spot that overlooks the Tennessee River and O’Neal Bridge in Florence.

Riverbottom’s owner, Daniel Hood, said he will take the next month to evaluate what to do next.

“I know the requirements, the mask requirements and the spacing between tables is all necessary and I believe that’s gone a long way in helping kind of soften the blow of this and get these numbers down. So we just have to look at everything and see how things go in the next few weeks,” said Hood.

Some restrictions in the previous health order are being lifted.

For example, restaurants can now seat groups larger than 8, as long as their tables are 6-feet apart or partitioned.

Cleaning requirements will also remain in place.

“Everyone needs to have a mask on, employees and customers and our tables, we’re kind of a small place so we don’t really have room for barriers, but our tables are six feet apart and nothing on the table as far as salt shakers, everything sanitized and brought to you. So we’ll just kind of keep going with that for now,” said Hood.

For now, it seems like most businesses have similar plans to take the next few weeks to evaluate what is best for their business, workers and customers.

Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.