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Richmond restaurant workers respond to Northam’s decision not to require masks indoors

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:53 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam is not acting on guidelines from the CDC when it comes to wearing masks in public.

Thursday, he said it is recommended that everyone wears masks indoors in areas where coronavirus cases are growing, but Northam said he won’t require it. Restaurant workers are reacting to that decision. Some of them are saying they don’t want to go back to the beginning where everyone had to wear masks. Yet there are others who say breaking them back out may not be such a bad idea after all.

Over at Les Crepe in Carytown, the staff is glad to have the option to work without a mask.

“I just don’t want to go back,” Andrea Ramirez said. Although she understands why restaurant staff and customers had to wear masks, she feels they made things difficult. “It was the longest relationship I hated in my life…We are selling everything. We’re selling a whole experience…When you have a server who comes to you with a covered face, sometimes people say ‘well, they were rude’. No, they weren’t. They were just wearing a mask; you couldn’t see their smile.”

She’s relieved Northam announced Thursday he will not require masks to be worn indoors in public, even in areas where coronavirus cases are climbing.

“It helps that I do have that distance you know. They’re on the other side of the bar,” said Hayley Williams, a bartender at Burger Bach. She’s taken her mask off after getting vaccinated, but she admits she never knows if unmasked customers are vaccinated.

Williams believes if cases continue to spiral upwards, it might be a good idea to require the masks again.

“It can’t harm anything. Might as well be safe rather than sorry…I want to get back to normal. I want to continue to move forward and not take steps back. I don’t see wearing a mask as a step back. I just see it as a precaution to not have further damage happen,” Williams said.

The governor continues to urge people to get a COVID-19 shot to help put an end to the pandemic. While he’s not requiring masks again, he says they certainly do help prevent the spread.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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