Mask free supermarket in Florida goes viral

‘Face diapers not required’: Florida restaurant goes viral for face mask sign

State does not mandate employees and customers not mandated to wear coverings

Louise Hall
Wednesday 17 February 2021 17:37
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A Florida restaurant has gone viral after it placed a bold sign regarding its stance on face masks amid the pandemic in its front window.

Beckyjack’s Food Shack in Hernando County, Florida posted a photo of their welcome sign on Facebook which reads:  "FACE DIAPERS NOT REQUIRED! EVERYONE WELCOME."

Alongside the photo, which was posted on Valentine’s day, the restaurant wrote: “A friendly reminder that we DO NOT require Face Masks.”

In an interview with Today Food, owner Jesse Fox said they had initially posted the sign because many people coming in were "surprised we weren’t wearing masks."

"So I was just trying to be proactive," Mr Fox said. "Everyone thinks I’m politicizing it and shaming people who want to wear a mask but my only goal was to let people know before they came ... we don’t require it."

Hernando country’s government website confirms that the state’s governor’s executive order does not mandate the use of masks for employees and customers.

“However, it is recommended that customers, employees, and employers consult Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and utilise face masks when social distancing measures cannot be maintained,” the site reads.

The CDC advises: “Masks are currently recommended for employees and for customers as much as possible when not eating or drinking and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."

An executive order signed by Florida’s governor in September also declared that restaurants will not have to pay fines or face closures for violating local directives like mask requirements.

Hernando county has recorded a total of 10,664 cases of the disease as of Wednesday and 369 deaths, according to state health officials.

Mr Fox told Today Food that the reaction to the sign has been both "positive and negative."

"As far as I’m concerned, we won’t require masks ever unless it’s required by the county," he added. Neither diners nor staff wear masks, he said.

In an update on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Monday, the company reiterated: “Yes we do not require facemasks and yes we think of them as diapers. We strive to be transparent.”

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