Gov. Mike DeWine said he will no longer require people to have face coverings on who enter businesses set to open under the Responsible RestartOhio plan, according a statement statement released Tuesday.
When the governor announced details about reopening Ohio’s economy on Monday, face coverings were required by the public to enter businesses. However, he changed the rule due to the fact some Ohioans found this rule “offensive.”
“Within the last 24 hours, it’s really been made clear to me that a mandatory mask requirement for people who are shopping, going into a retail business, is offensive to some of our fellow Ohioans,” DeWine said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I’ve also heard, for some people, this is a difficult thing to do.”
Even though Ohio is not forcing people to wear face coverings in businesses allowed to open, it is “strongly recommending” that people use them.
“Though it is not a mandate, wearing a face covering in retail locations is clearly in the best interest of all Ohioans,” DeWine added. “This gives added protection to others. When you wear a mask, you are protecting those around you from possibly getting sick.”
Despite this rule adjustment on face coverings, businesses can still create policies that require face coverings for customers to enter their facilities.
Employees will still be required to wear face coverings when they work at businesses set to reopen unless a health care official does not advise it, according to the governor’s press release.
“It is because of Ohio citizens’ individual actions thus far that we have collectively flattened the curve in Ohio. Ohioans have accomplished these things through social distancing, staying home, and wearing face coverings. These individual decisions have impacted the greater good for all Ohioans,” DeWine said.
“These individual decisions are going to be even more important as we move forward. Now is the time to double down on these efforts. We have an obligation to protect our most vulnerable Ohioans and each other.”
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]