Local restaurants adapt to stricter mask mandate in North Carolina

Local restaurants adapt to stricter mask mandate in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper implemented a new executive order earlier this week. The order tightened the mask mandate throughout the state.

“Whatever we need to do to open and stay safe,” said Ashley Boyd, culinary director and managing partner at 300 East in Charlotte.

The order now requires you to wear a mask while at a restaurant table unless you’re actively eating or drinking. That’s a change from previous orders which allowed you to keep the mask off while at the table.

Other restaurants have also been enforcing the change.

“We’ve been pretty aggressive, you just have to keep an eye on people because they will try to come in without a mask, and some get mad,” added Greg Auten, owner of Pinky’s Westside Grill. “You have to keep in-tuned with all the tables and say, ‘Hey if you’re not eating, you gotta have that mask on.’ Just a matter of being on your toes a little more.”

With COVID-19, Anntonys Caribbean Restaurant has been pushing its takeout option. But in recent days, they’ve noticed a change.

“Today we’ve noticed individuals coming has been very sparse. We find although people want to come in and have a feel of the islands, they’re staying away because of what happened,” said owner Dr. Tony Martin.

The goal for each business: keeping guests and employees safe.

“I think what we’re trying to do is be as safe as possible for the guest and staff and also make sure we’re providing a pleasant experience,” added Boyd. “We gotta keep rolling with it and adapting, we’ll hopefully adapt to this as well.”

The order also requires people to wear a mask while they’re exercising unless you are able to safely maintain at least six feet distance from others. If that is the case, you do not need to wear a face covering when exercising outdoors.

Gatherings are also limited to ten people indoors, indoor bar closures, occupancy restrictions for retail stores, restaurants and other public businesses, extending these protections through Dec. 11.

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