TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTHI) -- After a change in the federal mask mandate, many restaurants, and local businesses are deciding how this will impact their decisions to enforce mask-wearing. News 10 surveyed ten Terre Haute restaurants. Only three said they would still require their customers to wear masks.
"The customers, if they wear the mask, fine; if not, we don't try to be a policeman and decide whether they should or shouldn't," George Azar, the owner of the Saratoga Restaurant in Terre Haute, said.
This comes after the announcement from the CDC saying all fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. However, locally, an optional mask for customers is not anything new to the Terre Haute community.
"We have not really worried about if our customers have their masks on since the governor gave it a recommendation rather than a mandate," Azar said. "We left that up to the customers, but I have enforced our employees to wear masks."
Governor Eric Holcomb lifted the mask mandate for the state of Indiana at the beginning of April. This has caused very few changes for the area between last month and now. The majority of places are leaving it up to the customer, but many are still requiring their employees to wear them.
"I'm doing it more for the safety for us and ourselves as well as the community that comes in," Blake Cesinger, the manager at Roly Poly Sandwiches in Terre Haute, said. "I don't want to upset any customers that do want us to wear masks, so I thought it's best we kept our masks on."
Additionally, local business owners say it is difficult to know who is vaccinated and who is not, which makes it more difficult to have a strict masking policy.
"We have to allow them to be responsible for themselves," Azar said. "We can't be responsible for the customer. I can't decide whether they are fully vaccinated or not. They have to be honest and truthful, and we have to rely on their good judgment.'
Health officials are still encouraging you to get vaccinated. Now, after recent approval by the CDC, anyone over the age of 12 is eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. If you are still looking to get vaccinated, please click here for Indiana residents and click here for Illinois residents.