Many stores in Triangle still requiring masks after COVID-19 restrictions lifted in NC

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — People are no longer required to wear a mask in most settings in North Carolina, but some businesses are still asking customers to wear masks.

Several stores around Raleigh shopping centers, like North Hills and Lafayette Village, have signs saying masks are required while others have signs saying they’re not.

“It was like overnight,” said Cece Denny, owner of Stuf N Such in Lafayette Village.  

Denny took her sign down requiring masks at Stuf N Such over the weekend. She said customers have since come in with and without them.

“We’re going to have people who are not comfortable, so we keep our masks and I make sure I have it on if there’s anybody in the store with it on because they’re not going to be comfortable,” said Denny. “I think a lot of people aren’t comfortable yet not wearing them and people who didn’t want to wear them before are very comfortable not wearing them.”

She’s no longer asking people to wear one and debating whether to keep selling them.

“Am I going to have people who come in the door and see that nobody has a mask on and turn around and leave? Probably,” said Denny.

Along with safety reasons, some shoppers said it’s simply become habit.

“It just feels almost natural in a sense now,” said shopper Dominique Staples. “I’ve been wearing it for a while. I’ve been used to wearing it.”

In North Hills, stores are also going both ways.

“I decided I’m not going to wear a mask. When my clients walked in, they asked if they had to wear one and I said if you’re comfortable you don’t have to wear a mask,” said Mary Michele Nidiffer, founder of Style Finder. “I’m not going to do something to put someone in jeopardy or make them uncomfortable, but it’s all about personal preference.”

Nidiffer said everyone she’s seen come into Style Finder has at least had a mask in their hands. Many opt not to wear it.

“I think it’s going to be a little tricky for a while as we’re all trying to navigate what does this mean, but we’re just going to roll with it,” said Nidiffer.

Some of the bigger companies to loosen mask requirements so far are Starbucks, Walmart and Trader Joe’s.

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