Texas restaurant owner doubles down on anti-mask policy after kicking out mask-wearing parents

Texas restaurant owner doubles down on anti-mask policy after kicking out mask-wearing parents

As the nation continues to face the novel coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen states and cities address mask requirements in a number of ways. The safest option, of course, has been to either entirely close recreational businesses, like restaurants and bars, or to go take-out only. In areas where case numbers have reduced, many places have moved to ask for either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or ask all folks to wear masks while dining or picking up items inside.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, one restaurant and bar in North Texas apparently has a policy in which no customers are allowed to wear masks while inside the establishment. As reported by local outlet CBS DFW, one couple learned this the hard way when visiting Hang Time bar in Rowlett, Texas, with a few friends. Though the couple says they are both fully vaccinated, they wanted to wear masks inside to better protect their immunocompromised baby. Within 30 minutes of the time they sat down, however, they were asked to remove the masks or leave.

“Our waitress came over, sat down next to me, and said, ‘Our manager told me to come over because I am nicer than he is… But this is political and I need you to take your masks off,” Natalie Wester told the outlet. Interestingly, the outlet reports that there is no sign outside the business informing potential customers about the mask policy. Instead, the hostess tells all customers who wear one that they have to take them off at the door. 

According to Natalie, she and her husband heard the hostess say something about masks when they entered the establishment but assumed she was asking them to lower their masks so she could check their IDs properly. Once at their table, she says the couple and their friends ordered drinks and appetizers. Within about half an hour, their waitress came over and gave them the ultimatum about keeping the masks on or leaving. Natalie adds that after explaining they have an immunocompromised baby, the waitress offered to wrap up their bill. The couple says they paid and left.

Webber recounted her interaction with the employee in a Facebook post that has gained serious traction. “She then told me that masks are not allowed in their building,” Wester wrote. “And they can make the rules because they are private business.” Wester alleged that the hostess told them that masks don’t provide people with enough oxygen and that they don’t work.

“I feel the overall reaction with masks is ridiculous in the United States right now,” Tom, the owner of the restaurant, told the outlet in an interview. He added that he’s put blood, sweat, and tears into his business, and he doesn’t want masks in there. Tom told the outlet he didn’t know the couple had an immunocompromised baby, but that he stands by his policy, and says the restaurant will continue to enforce it. 

That this policy should exist anywhere is concerning, period, but it’s especially so given the state of COVID-19 in Texas. We know, for example, that more than 90 hospitals in the state were out of ICU beds, according to federal data. People between the ages of 30 and 49 are being hospitalized in Texas at a concerning rate, almost doubling the previous high for the age range due to COVID-19 back in January. We also know that more public school students in Texas tested positive for the coronavirus in one week than at any time in the last school year, coming in at more than 20,000 cases since the academic year began. 

You can watch the interview with both Wester and restaurant owner Tom below interview below.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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