Some Raleigh businesses have problems with mask rule enforcement


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The statewide mask mandate has been in effect in North Carolina for two days. It requires people to wear masks in public places and places where people cannot social distance.

At StyleFinder Boutique in North Hills, masks have become part of the merchandise and shopping experience.

“They have been very popular. Clients come in and they see we’ve got these. We’re trying to help people understand if you wear this, you need a pink mask, or wear this, try to help coordinate it with their outfit,” said StyleFinder’s founder Mary Michele Nidiffer.

Masks are required to be worn in public under city and state mandates.

Customers have been coming to StyleFinder only by appointment during the pandemic and wear masks when they do.

“It’s helped them to feel safe and secure and it’s helped our staff feel safe, so it’s working right now,” Nidiffer said.

Down the street at the restaurant Vivace, Kevin Jennings said it’s been difficult. Customers are required to wear masks at restaurants when they’re not at their table. 

“It’s been tough because we are in a situation where it’s almost, it’s sort of implied, that we are now the police. We’re the mask police,” said Jennings, a partner with Urban Food Group.

He said after the state mandate went into effect Friday night, only a small percent of diners came with masks.

The restaurant’s staff all wears maks and they encourage customers to as well, but Jennings said they can’t afford to turn people away right now.

“We’re doing the best we can to try and make everyone feel comfortable and all, but at the same time we’re trying to do as much sales as we can,” said Jennings. “It’s starting to get down to kind of dog eat dog. We’ve got bills to pay.”

Businesses that don’t enforce masks could be cited by law enforcement under the state mandate.

Also, if a customer refuses to wear a mask in a business, the person can be cited for violations such as trespassing, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s order.

Multiple law enforcement agencies in the area have said they don’t plan on enforcing it, although they do encourage people to wear masks.

The city of Raleigh mandate is not being enforced by citations.

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