AUSTIN, Texas - Local businesses were cleaning up on Thursday after a popular holiday that brought people out to the bars, even during a pandemic.
"I was literally standing at the door from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., and it was pretty crazy all night," said Aaron Mcbee, who works security at Friends Bar. "Some people had masks, others not so much."
St. Patrick’s Day arrived right after mixed messages from the state and city regarding COVID-19 safety precautions. Bars that FOX 7 has spoken to have varied when it comes to setting their own rules.
At Friends Bar, they are still requiring customers and employees to mask up. "Here we feel like it’s our personal responsibility not only to protect ourselves but others, and it’s a matter of respect," said Mcbee. "I respect myself and others enough to wear a mask."
Mcbee said he did get into some confrontations Wednesday night over mask-wearing. "If you’re literally going to fight me over a mask, one you shouldn’t come in, two we’re stronger together," he said. "If everyone is sick, we’ll have to shut down again, and you’ll have to be an alcoholic at home."
On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a mandate saying, businesses in Texas could open at 100% capacity and masks were no longer required. However, it did not exclude businesses from setting their own rules.
Austin and Travis County’s original "Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe" order is set to expire on April 21.