Some restaurants on P.E.I. are eliminating mask requirements for individuals dining inside and out.
This step follows the region’s decision to drop the mandatory mask mandate in P.E.I. implemented in November to prevent the spread of the virus.
Steve Murphy is leaving the choice on mask use up to the customers. Murphy is a member of the Restaurant Survival Group, an institution created during the pandemic as a means for restaurants to address COVID-19 protocols and their effects on business.
Murphy, who is also co-owner of Slaymaker and Nichols in Charlottetown and Blue Mussel Café in North Rustico, said,
“I think what I am seeing is an overwhelming majority of people are ready to take masks off.”
Murphy has been attempting to monitor the number of customers entering his establishments with a mask.
“We do a poll here.”
“We watch everyone coming in. We see what percentage of people has masks versus don’t have masks. And about 60 percent of the people coming in last night didn’t have a mask on.”
Murphy said some of the people wearing masks removed them once they saw others weren’t wearing masks.
On Sunday afternoon, Rob Watson and Anna Mcnamara, who did not wear masks, were out enjoying a meal at Blue Mussel.
“We have our freedom back, finally.”
Both Watson and Mcnamara revealed it was nice to walk into a restaurant unmasked, sit down, and have a meal.
“I just hope it stays this way now because we all want that back,” Mcnamara stated.
Depending on the task, rules may vary for servers at Murphy’s restaurants. When working at a table inside, they are required to wear masks; however, they can remove the masks if serving outside.
Murphy revealed there was no actual plan for when the mask mandate ended. He stated he is seeing how things turn out with the rules he has in place.
He revealed some Island restaurant owners plan to meet again on Thursday to talk about how things are going.