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Do you need to wear a mask in S.C. restaurants or not?

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 8:36 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - As more restaurants in South Carolina see business on the rise, the big topic of discussion among many patrons is still whether to wear a mask or not.

Restaurants are still requiring all of their employees to wear face protection, and it’s a mixed bag when it comes to whether customers are required to mask up or not.

At the Blue Marlin restaurant in The Vista, all employees are required to wear a mask.

“We want everyone on our staff to feel safe,” Manager Rachel Hawkins said. “We want all of our guests to feel comfortable and safe.”

But when it comes to guests, the restaurant says it’s up to them.

Hawkins says the number of masked customers is dwindling, but a good majority still wear them.

The restaurant doesn’t require a vaccine passport because they are unsure of the parameters around that.

However, they do have provisions for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests.

“The ones who are worried make a reservation and we’ll put them on the patio in a secluded area or a secluded area of our restaurant,” Hawkins said.

Blue Marlin customer Joe Bouknight is happy they don’t require masks or a vaccine passport to de-mask.

“We feel safe. We’ve put masks away and are thrilled to put them away,” Bouknight said.

Across town in Five Points, The Gourmet Shop still requires employees and guests to wear masks but do not require a vaccination passport.

A manager at the restaurant says customers have told her they are glad the mandatory mask policy is in place.

“I’ve been vaccinated with my wife for 8 weeks now, but we still try to take precautions. That’s the thing you should do is look out for your fellow man,” Richard Hook said.

Most people said they trust the CDC guidance. While a few said they don’t trust the honor system when it comes to non-vaccinated people wearing masks.

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