Some local businesses struggle to enforce mask mandates

Coronavirus

As masks become more popular from the national level to the local level, not everyone is sold on idea.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As masks become more popular from the national level to the local level, not everyone is sold on the idea.

“Yeah you can, you’re allowed to now, you have a drink.”

Grubbs Bar and Grille

This is a conversation that’s likely taking place at most bars and restaurants across Arkansas.

“It gets hot and it’s hard to breathe sometimes but we just have to do it,” said Kynza Capps, the bar manager at Grubs Bar and Grille in Uptown Fayetteville.

Capps said not everyone who walks through these doors has a mask, so she has to get creative in finding compliance.

“We’ll just ask them to use their shirt to cover up their face because sometimes they don’t want to do it but they will put their shirt up to their face to get to the table,” she explained.

The first thing you’ll see when you walk into the restaurant is a sign telling people to wear a mask.

While Capps tells KNWA/Fox 24 most of her customers have been compliant, that’s not the case everywhere.

“I went to a gas station one day and there was a man who refused to wear a mask,” she said. “The gas station clerk just politely asked him to wear one and he threw a huge fit.”

That’s where Dr. Richard McMullen with the Department of Health comes in.

“I talk to a lot of businesses just making consultations and I do see folks that early on were asking people to wear masks and got a lot of push back and as this progresses especially in Northwest Arkansas,” he said. “Now they have customers that come in and say ‘I’m glad this establishment makes everyone wear a mask.'”

He said businesses like bars and restaurants have the right to refuse any customer, and if the customer doesn’t leave, they can call the police.

“I’m not promoting that we call the police on people who don’t wear masks, but you can ask anyone to leave your business if they don’t comply with certain rules,” Dr. McMullen said.

Capps said, “It is hard to you know, make people do it, but it’s just what we have to do.”

While times are tough now, Capps hopes that the global pandemic will push people to create a better future for themselves and the people who come after them.

“I hope that one day we don’t have to do this and going through this people will be more conscious about washing their hands and being more aware of viruses,” she said.

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