Mask rule burdensome to business, Chamber encourages understanding and kindness

Upon receiving official guidance from the state regarding the latest mandatory mask requirement on July 7, the Chamber immediately notified our members. Staff has since had conversations with numerous business owners who are, to say the least, frustrated with the additional burden of enforcing the statewide ‘No Mask, No Service’ rule. An opinion piece recently published by The Washington Policy Center seems to reflect the very sentiment of many within our local business community. Do you agree?
 
We know that local businesses are desperately trying to keep up with constantly changing rules and stay in compliance to avoid closing the doors. Again. We will continue to encourage the public to be kind and show understanding. If a customer, employee, or friend asks you about wearing a mask, here’s what you need to know about face coverings and businesses’ newest responsibility of enforcement.
 
Within days of WSP reporting that “face masks are a public health issue, not a law enforcement issue,” the governor issued an order that businesses require and enforce the use of face coverings by all customers or visitors. The “No Mask, No Service” rule was implemented statewide on Tuesday, July 7. 
 
Guidance from the state’s coronavirus website directs businesses to “educate” non-wearers on the benefits of wearing a mask and “inquire” if there is a medical condition or disability that prohibits one from wearing a mask (this is a yes or no question- no one should ask what the condition or disability is).
 
Here’s where it gets tricky: if the person says yes, then “businesses are encouraged to offer some kind of accommodation.” This insinuates that the business should not allow the person to enter, but it is unclear. Further, “If a customer or individual refuses to wear a face covering but does not have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, they should be politely told that the business cannot serve them and that they need to leave the premises.”
Penalties and fines are ambiguous with some quoting $10,000 fine for the business with an additional $1,000 per person not wearing a mask, others simply imply a $100 penalty and up to 90 days in county jail. 
 
As an American, individuals have a right not to wear a mask. As a business, you are required to deny service and to enforce the mask rule. We hope that customers realize they have the choice, you do not. For more information go to the state’s official coronavirus website.


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