Texas Bar Owner Bans Customers From Wearing Masks

Fox News reports, the owner of a Texas tavern has banned customers from coming in wearing coronavirus protective face masks.

The Liberty Tree Tavern, located in Elgin, posted a sign outside the tavern that read:

“Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe.”

The city has a population of around 10,000 residents, according to the 2018 census. Only 52 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak, Austin’s KXAN reported.

Kevin Smith, the tavern’s co-owner, told the station the ban was “more of a pushback” against snitches and contact tracers.

“This is still a rural county,” Smith said.

Not everyone agrees. Resident Ross Owens thought Liberty Tree’s policy was “foolish” and risky. “They’re taking chances they don’t need to take, especially if they’re in public service,” he said. But resident Charles Chamberlain has been eagerly waiting for Liberty Tree to open back up. He says he’s not fazed by the tavern’s posting.

“I’m a stage 4 cancer survivor. It’s just a choice. He just put that up there to let people know if they aren’t feeling good, then they maybe shouldn’t come,” said Chamberlain. “Everybody is keeping safe distances, they aren’t bunching up.”

Liberty Tree Tavern still requires6 feet of social distancing and operates at 25 percent of the facility’s occupancy.