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Masks still required in some Denver businesses despite Polis lifting mandate

Face Mask required sign
Posted at 5:56 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 21:34:58-04

DENVER — Whether you're fully vaccinated or not, expect to carry a mask with you for some time as some Denver business owners aren't ready yet to drop the mask requirements.

"We're going to still ask that people wear their masks when they come in to shop with us," said Jay Hart, owner of The Yogi Exchange on Tennyson Street and West 41st Avenue.

Despite Gov. Jared Polis' announcement Friday to lift mask requirements for fully vaccinated people in most settings, she doesn't feel ready yet to put the masks away.

"I would say at least for another month, but it might be through the summer," Hart said.

It'll be difficult, she says, to know who's fully vaccinated and who's not. She doesn't have the resources to verify someone's vaccination status, so she'll keep asking her customers to wear their masks until she feels more comfortable with Colorado's vaccination rates.

"It's an individual choice. This is my business, and this is what I choose. It's to make both of us safe," she said.

Down the street at Mouthfuls Pet Supply, the staff also plans to keep requiring customers to wear masks.

"Not only [because of] the tight space but also with how quick this is coming down, not knowing where the concern is with our customers, plus our staff," said Elizabeth Hart, the manager at Mouthfuls.

Checking to see who's fully vaccinated will also be difficult for the pet supply shop, especially because it has multiple entrances.

"It's just not as feasible, I think, in the moment that we are at with this pandemic," Hart said.

But some are ready to make a change.

"We're so happy," Post Oak BBQ owner Nick Prince said. "We're ready to get back to normal."

Once Denver County falls in line with the state's guidelines, which is expected to happen Saturday, expect to see maskless employees and customers at Prince's restaurant.

"There's a big carrot to get a vaccine now, and I think it's going to drive a lot of people, especially with where we work, to get a vaccine," he said.

He will no longer require his employees who are vaccinated to wear masks, nor will he require vaccinated customers to wear masks when walking to or from their table.

"I don't think it's my own personal business. But at the same time, if it allows them to not wear a mask, I advise people to carry a [vaccination] card," he said.

There is general consensus among some of the customers Denver7 spoke with Friday: they're tired of wearing the masks, but they'll still wear them if asked.

"If you choose not to get vaccinated and you don't want to follow that store's rules, then don't go there," shopper Amy Sampson said.