ROANOKE, Va. – After more than a year of restrictions, starting Friday the vast majority of COVID-19 restrictions in place will be lifted by Gov. Ralph Northam.
That’s when Executive Order 79 goes into effect.
The move originally announced two weeks ago is getting mixed reactions from businesses.
Despite the removal of restrictions, some businesses are still choosing to wear a mask while others are ready to throw it in the trash.
But both sides will have to rely on people’s honesty about the status of their vaccinations.
Capacity limits and social distancing are phrases that now are being tossed out as restrictions will be lifted soon.
Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint in downtown Roanoke will now be able to fully open its bar and restaurant to serve more customers.
General manager Kevin Young said it’s a relief, but at the same time he hopes people are responsible because safety is still a concern.
“You know we are excited to have everyone back in,” Young said. “But of course you do have a thought in your mind going I made an announcement to the staff letting them know if you haven’t been vaccinated do it now because you know we are going to be full. Everyone is going to be back out.”
While the bar is going to remove the painting that says ‘No buts about it, wear a mask,’ Crystal Springs Grocery store is keeping its advisory sign up.
Though customers can decide whether to wear a mask or not, staff will continue to wear their masks.
“Our staff is fully vaccinated, but we all just feel very comfortable in the mask right now especially since there is a possibility of being around someone who is not vaccinated,” said Crystal Springs Grocery manager Devon Steiner.
Noticing the staff’s precautions, most customers who entered the store continued to cover their face.
Though restrictions are lifted, the state of emergency will still last till June 30.
Northam would need to pursue legal action to give people the option to wear a mask even after that date.