Created: May 19, 2021 07:34 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Wednesday many businesses lifted their mask mandates after New York State adjusted its to allow vaccinated people to not wear masks.
News10NBC's Raven Brown went to some area stores to see if they were lifting their mask mandates or not, and if customers were deciding to wear their masks or not.
“So you can see I’m smiling!” Tops Friendly Markets Mt. Read shopper John Mate said.
Going back to an "old normal" Mate said taking his mask off is a bit of a "test run”.
“It feels strange,” Mate said. “It's been over a year, it's been a year and three or four months and I'm not sure if someone is going to look at you funny.”
Tops is adopting the latest guidelines, dropping the mask rule for fully vaccinated shoppers and workers. Manager Dave Williams said about 80% still kept the masks on.
“This is my first day without it and I’ve kind of looked at customers' eyes to see what their reaction would be,” Williams said. “No one has said anything to me and it's nice to have the freedom of not wearing the mask but I certainly don't have a problem with those who do wear it.”
“I just think they are jumping the gun on eliminating the masks,” Tops shopper Ruth Binazeski said.
Binazeski is fully vaccinated but says taking the mask off while shopping is a no-go.
“Now that they say oh you don't have to do it now that almost seems not right or uncomfortable so yeah I think we just need to mask up for a while," Binazeski said.
Over at Gates Big M grocery store, masks are still asked to be worn.
“We have a sign on our front door, we are encouraging our customers to still wear a mask because some customers aren't vaccinated and some of our employees are not possibly vaccinated either so we are asking everyone to still keep their mask on while they are in the store,” manager Greg Newman said.
“It’s more back to normal than the normal it's been,” shopper James Delano said.
Delano said he's been done with the masks for a while.
“I will stay away from them and they can stay away with me if they are uncomfortable being around me,” Delano said.
“We need more time,” shopper Patricia Hartlebean said. “Yeah, we need more time."
Others are happy to comply with whatever rules stores have in place until there’s more confidence that we can get back to what life used to be.
“I’ve been fully vaccinated but it doesn't matter to me, I have relatives and friends that refuse to get vaccinated so I would rather feel safe than sorry,” Hartlebean said.
Click here for more information about local businesses' mask policies.
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