Local businesses decide whether to require masks after statewide mandate lifted

HOUSTON – The days of no mask: no service are no more. Well at least for some businesses in the Houston area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state’s mask mandate to be lifted on Wednesday and allowed any business to open at 100% capacity. Different businesses are taking different approaches.

“All the staff is required to wear masks and the customers are doing whatever they wish to do,” said Jim Hallers, managing partner of Citizens Grill near The Woodlands.

The restaurant did not run into any issues with the changes as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.

“We’ve noticed today most customers walking in are wearing their mask until they get to the table of which point they’re taking it off and they’re putting it back on when they use the restroom, for example,” he said.

At nearby Malibu Nails and Spa, front desk employee Maggie Becker said employees will wear masks and take other precautions.

“We are not requiring guests to wear masks since the mandate has been lifted,” she said. “It’s their option whether they want to or not.”

Other businesses are not ready to ease the restrictions.

“We’re still mandating masks,” said Sherman Yeung, owner of Tobiuo Sushi & Bar near Katy. “Of course, all of our team members are wearing masks as well but we’re still requiring customers to wear masks as they come in.”

KPRC 2 asked whether that approach has caused any problems.

“Fortunately no, not yet, but I mean it is the first day,” said Yeung.

Management at Houston This Is It Soul Food said the restaurant is still enforcing masks and social distancing.

“We’re still going to pretty much take the same safety precautions as we would take last week or last month,” said Camryn Wilson, a manager.

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