Denver’s new mask, vaccine rules force quick reaction from businesses

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Businesses across the Mile High City will once again be required to enforce mask mandates starting Thanksgiving Eve.

While some employees said they are dreading the potential confrontation, others said they know their customers will comply.

“Most of our folks are return customers,” said Luke Johnson, owner of Luke & Company Fine Pet Supply & Outfitter. “They’ve been really great.”

Johnson is optimistic customer compliance will continue under Denver’s latest mask mandate. It’s an order that offers some flexibility by allowing business owners to opt out of the mask mandate if they can ensure a vast majority of people in their businesses are vaccinated.

“I applaud the city’s efforts to try and allow folks the opportunity not to wear a mask and to show their vaccine card,” Johnson said. “However, I think that’s going to be — for a small business like us — a little too complicated to manage.”

Rufus Nagel, CEO of Molly’s Spirits in Lakeside, agreed.

“For a liquor store, we can’t require our customers to be vaccinated, nor would we,” Nagel said. “It’s become a political issue.”

But in Denver’s downtown area, The Triangle Bar Denver has had success requiring proof of vaccination. They’ve been at it since August.

“We do get pushback, but it’s few and far between,” said the bar’s co-owner Sean O’Grady.

How will Denver’s mask, vaccine orders work?

Under Denver’s order, business owners would need to send plans to the city explaining how they will ensure at least 95% of people inside are vaccinated.

For places like The Triangle Bar Denver, there’s confusion. They’re wondering if they’ll need to go back to a mask mandate as soon as Thanksgiving Eve until they can get the “rubber stamp approval” from the city.

“They just announce these things and give everybody one day to get ready for it … and to comply,” O’Grady said. “We’ll have to see what they say tomorrow morning.”

FOX31 spoke with a Denver hardware store manager who was nearly in tears dreading the upcoming mask enforcement. She would not go on camera.

The mandates will be determined by hospital capacity, according to press releases announcing metro-area mandates. However, Denver’s current order — subject to renewal — is set to expire on Jan. 2.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories