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Local businesses react after Arkansas lifts statewide mask mandate

Many barbershops, hospitals, restaurants and nail shops say they will still require masks to be worn.

ROGERS, Ark. — Local businesses are reacting to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s announcement to end Arkansas’ mask mandate.

On Tuesday (March 30) Gov. Hutchinson ended Arkansas’ statewide mask mandate but stated that businesses could still require patrons to wear masks. 

Many businesses say they will continue to ask their customers to wear a mask whenever entering their establishment.

“We will continue our mask mandate,” said Trendsetter Barbershop owner, Nick Jones.

Many barbershops, hospitals, restaurants and nail shops say they will still require masks.

“You don’t know who has it. Or who’s infected or whatever, and who’s passing it around,” Jones said.

Hospitals like Mercy have seen the wrath of the virus first-hand and are making sure their patients, staff and visitors know to mask up whenever they enter the building.

“You still have Covid-19 circulating, we still have people being admitted to the hospital. Ya know, there are still people that are dying from Covid-19,” said Mercy Clinic NWA President Steve Goss.

Jones agreed, saying, “We’re definitely not out of the pandemic and I rather get out of the pandemic so we can open fully.”

Mercy Clinic NWA is keeping its requirement in place as a preventative measure and to be prepared in case of another spike in cases.

“We feel it is the safest thing to continue it. Rather than, to stop it and try reinstitute it which is much more difficult we feel,” Goss said.

Businesses say they will be more likely to end their mask mandate whenever more Arkansans are vaccinated.

RELATED: Gov. Hutchinson ends statewide mask mandate in Arkansas, opens vaccine eligibility to those 16+

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