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Florida Bar Owner Bans Customers From Wearing Masks Gary Kirby Via Today
Gary Kirby Via Today

What in the world is going on? I really don’t get how anti-maskers go to the extreme to prove a point that does not exist. Everyone here is worried about trying to not get the coronavirus and trying to stay safe and sound. But this Florida bar owner is so ignorant, to the point that they decide to make his own rules despite the safety guidelines that we are all following. Gary Kirby, owner of Westside Sports Bar and Lounge, has decided to ban customers from wearing any face covering at his West Melbourne, Florida bar.

The sign reads, “Masks Prohibited. No more masks. End this nonsense. All over the world. We will all stop wearing masks. Just throw that filthy thing away.” In West Melbourne, bars and restaurants are not required to have mandatory mask policies but they need to advertise their own policies on their front door. According to Kirby, he doesn’t believe in face masks, adding that he finds face coverings problematic for several reasons. He noted, “In the event that law enforcement was to need to use my security cameras, I feel that somebody wearing a mask could impair their ability to do their job.”

The business owner tried to prove his point by saying it was a “security issue” noting that he was recently robbed and the suspect was wearing a mask in the bar. As far as a crime itself, well it has yet to be solved due to not being able to see the suspects face on the security cameras. (Can someone fact check this for me, please?) Kirby also believes that face-coverings make it difficult for bartenders to perform several important elements in their roles. He stated ?My bartenders need to verify identity. How can you be so sure it’s me if I’m wearing a mask? It’s also the bartender’s responsibility by law to make sure guests aren’t being over-served. How can they tell that if they can’t see someone’s face?”

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, recommend that bars and restaurants require cloth face covering or face masks for all staff if possible, citing on-site dining with both outdoor and indoor seating is the highest risk category if tables are not distanced and capacity is limited. Since Westside also serves food, the bar has been able to stay open at a very limited capacity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, except for when the local government decided to shut down all restaurants temporarily. So far, none of the employees have come down with COVID-19, stating the restaurant to take extra safety precautions.

According to the owner, the Florida sports bar is still practicing social distancing, takes extra steps when it comes to cleaning, and has been ?left to survive the pandemic so far.? The owner also noted that he had several compliance checks by several agencies of the State of Florida, and there hasn’t been a single complaint. Besides the ridiculous no-mask policy, the owner did note that their tables are separated by six feet and they conduct regular temperature checks by a doorman. In the case that one of his employees does contact COVID-19, they will need to quarantine for 14 days, will need two consecutive negative tests before returning to work, and encourages all his employees, including himself and customers, to do the same.

Honestly, this to me seems insanely dumb. I can’t wait for this place to blow up and have multiple coronavirus cases in Florida because of this. Honestly, it’s a piece of face cloth. It doesn’t cost you anything. All you need to do is put it around your mouth and nosefor protection. That’s it, we’re not asking anything else from you. This is so selfish, especially for a bar owner. This is why we can’t get better people, he is seriously playing with fire. Wear masks, don’t be dumb. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes social media has defiantly been bashing on the bar. Can’t wait to see how that goes. At this point, you’re safer going to Walmart.

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Silke  Jasso About the author:
Silke Jasso is a bilingual editor, writer, producer, and journalist specialized in online media. Born in Laredo Texas, her previous work includes LareDOS Newspaper where she was an editor and writer and Entravision Communications where she was a Co-Anchor and Multi-Media Journalist for Fox39 News and Univision 27.
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