Local shoppers and business owners voice excitement ahead of the mask mandate drop

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 5:46 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Friday at 11:59 p.m. marked the last day masks were required in most indoor settings.

Local shoppers and business owners are responding with excitement.

FOX 12 spoke to the owner of Stem Wine Bar, Wei-En Tan, who tells us when it comes to masks in her bar, she’s ready, and her crew is too.

“I think I feel a sense of relief actually, we are one of the last places in the U.S to drop mask mandates. We are still going to respect people who want to wear their masks inside, but we are not going to require any of that for employees or for guests coming in, I think it’s about time,” says Tan.

Tan mentioned that with vaccination rates as they are now, she feels we are in a better spot to make a big decision like this one, going on to say others in the area are too.

“Almost every restaurant on this street that I’ve talked to is going to drop their requirements for vaccine checks as well as the mask mandate,’ says Tan.

Sara Kolp, owner of the retail shop Flutter, is a bit more hesitant.

“I feel like we’re not out of the woods here. There could be another variant popping up, but our vaccination rates are very good in town,” says Kolp.

With the spring and summer tourist season ahead, Kolp says it’s more of a question of how vaccination rates are in other states.

“There have been a lot more tourists than there have been local customers. I would just hope that people wouldn’t go out if they felt sick,” says Kolp.

The local business owner says that her employees will continue to wear masks, but others are free to do as they please, and to that, local shopper, Phil Lofrumento, says, “I just think it’ll make people happier because when you smile at someone their first response is to smile back, you know? I think it’ll be a good thing.