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Masking rules become tricky business: Few say they will proof customers, most will use honor system

Local restaurants are sharing messages with customers on social media about how they will be proceeding with mask guidance changing.

On Wednesday, masks were no longer required by the state in most environments. The guidance matches what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention rolled out last week.

There are some exceptions, but the rule is not absolute- and that has made some business owners uncomfortable.


The state says that private businesses can request that customers wear masks. It even suggests that they can deny service to those who do not have masks. Alternatively, businesses can request to see vaccine cards of those who are coming to their business- if they want to be maskless.

In the Finger Lakes region- a few restaurants have said that they will either continue requiring masks for everyone, or require proof of vaccination for a mask-free experience. However, a vast majority say they will be using the ‘honor’ system to navigate the complex issue of masking.

“We’re gonna operate on an honor system because frankly, every food service and customer service employee is exhausted from fighting people about masks for the last year,” one business owner said. That sentiment was also shared by other business owners on social media.

Large chains like Walmart, Target, and Wegmans will also not be requiring proof for customers to not wear a mask.

The short answer is to check ahead if heading to a place where you think masks might be required for the time being.



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