AUSTIN, Texas - Many businesses in Austin and Travis County are no longer letting customers in without a face covering. There are already signs posted at essential businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and more.
“When they walk inside, we request them to wear a mask. If they don’t have that, they’re not allowed to shop here for safety reasons,” said Saif Bin Sadiq, manager at King’s convenience store.
To comply with city and county orders many stores are telling customers the same thing. Without something covering their mouth and nose, they cannot enter.
“Most of the people they walk in, they have a mask on. If not, at least they have bandanas or scarves, something on,” Bin Sadiq said.
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H-E-B sent Fox 7 a statement that reads in part:
“...Some cities have passed laws requiring the use of face coverings while in public and H-E-B will follow those regulations. Our Partners, as well as customers, must wear a proper face covering to enter our stores in cities where the law requires people to wear masks while in public.”
As for Target, they write, “Target works with local leaders to understand the laws and comply with local ordinances.”
Walmart media relations said they posted signs to alert customers to the new regulations, but are not enforcing it themselves.
While H-E-B said the majority of customers in Austin are following face mask guidelines, some business owners are worried that the coverings could create other safety concerns.
Bin Sadiq said they’ve had some customers get aggressive with staff, but face coverings make it more difficult to describe suspects to police.
“We can’t really ask them to take it off because it’s a security concern, a health concern, but, if something like that happens, it’d be really hard for us to figure out who did it and what happened,” said Bin Sadiq.
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