Denver business owner faces pushback from customers over mask rules

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The end of Colorado’s mask mandate is causing frustration for some business owners.

Jeremy Matzke, owner of the Owl Saloon and Bar Car in Denver, says he dealt with pushback from customers over the weekend when they were asked to wear a mask as they came inside.

“I got a lot of, ‘Well, this is not how it is in Texas, this is now how it is in Georgia,’ or I got a lot of, ‘Well, the CDC said…’,” said Matzke.

Under the state’s mask guidance, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks indoors. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to, but it is not required. Individual businesses may choose to enforce their own mask policies.

“We do ask that you wear a mask. The employees will continue to wear their masks. We will continue to keep the plexiglass up at the bar until we see what happens,” said Matzke.

Matzke says their policy is more of a suggestion that customers wear masks as opposed to a hard requirement. He says enforcing such a rule would be nearly impossible.

“The biggest fear is just can everybody play along? Every bar is going to be different. We will try to tell you politely what we would like to see you do, but we also know what the rules are now,” said Matzke.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) says it is up to businesses to decide if they would like to require masks, and DDPHE will not respond to mask complaints within a business if there is no public health order requiring masks.

The Denver Police Department will not necessarily respond to people not wearing masks inside a business where it is required unless a person refuses to leave or causes some kind of disturbance and police are called.

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