Could fully vaccinated Coloradans be forced to wear a mask?

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Will Coloradans be required to wear masks once again? On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the recommendations for all vaccinated people to still wear masks is “under active consideration,” frustrated by unvaccinated Americans spreading the Delta variant of COVID-19.

For many local business owners, having to enforce a mask policy again is tough to even think about, and the thought of another shutdown from the variant is horrific. 

“I don’t think about it, I don’t talk about it, I refuse to even engage the idea in my mind because it would be impossible,” Andrea Frizzi, owner of Il Posto, Vero and Tammens Fish Market said.

Frizzi told FOX31 he can’t fathom having to push through a third.

“Psychologically and emotionally, to do it twice and have to keep going is really hard,” Frizzi said. “I don’t think a shutdown could happen again, it’s just not possible.”

Now focused on recovery, even another mask mandate is a punch to the gut.

“I hate that we are talking about the Delta variant, masks maybe coming back, God forbid another shutdown,” Denise Michelsen with the Colorado Restaurant Association said, who knows what more rules could mean. “I think if the mask mandate comes back there will be a drop in business across all sectors because a lot of vaccinated people will choose not to go out, they don’t want to wear masks, that’s why they got vaccinated.”

Folks enjoying Sunday afternoon lunch in the RiNo neighborhood, told FOX31 another mask mandate for vaccinated people would feel unfair, since they already did their part to stop the pandemic.

“I got vaccinated to purposely not wear a mask,” Alaina Sylve from Littleton said. “I would avoid businesses that would require a mask because I do not want to.”

Los Angeles brought back its mask requirement earlier this month. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment didn’t answer yes or no to whether they’d require masks again.

“CDPHE and CDC still strongly recommend that the unvaccinated wear a mask in public. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 including the Delta Variant. Colorado has made the vaccine readily available, free and easy,” Brian Spencer with CDPHE said. “We encourage all eligible Coloradans to get vaccinated without delay.”

Last year, Colorado restaurants lost $3 billion in revenue. Economists guess it will take five to six years for them to fully recover.

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