A restaurant based in Florida is currently going viral for posting a sign that states “FACE DIAPERS NOT REQUIRED! EVERYONE WELCOME.”
The photo was shared on Facebook by Beckyjack’s Food Shack located in Hernando County, Florida. This was posted on Valentine’s Day with caption that read: “Happy Valentine’s Day,” along with a heart emoji, “A friendly reminder that we DO NOT require Face Masks.”
Jesse Fox, the owner told news reporters they had initially posted the sign because they had a lot of customers who were surprised at the fact that they were not wearing facemasks.
“So, I was just trying to be proactive,” Fox said. “Everyone thinks I’m politicizing it and shaming people who want to wear a mask, but my only goal was to let people know before they came…we don’t require it.”
Face masks are currently not required in Hernando County; however, they are recommended for when social distancing cannot be maintained, according to the county’s website. The CDC is still recommending that masks be worn for customers and restaurant staff.
“CDC recommended masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the CDC website states. “Masks are currently recommended for employees and for customers as much as possible when not eating or drinking and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
The county has a total of 10,745 Covid related cases as of Tuesday, according to state health officials, adding 369 deaths.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues an executive order back in September allowing restaurants to operate at 50% capacity and announced that restaurants who do not comply will have to face fines and possible closures for violation local directives like mask requirements. However, DeSantis never issues a statewide mask mandate, according to local reports.
One customer from Orange County, Florida told news reporters that she feels the restaurants sign is “stressful and very disrespectful”.
“I feel like I’m out of state almost. That is how I feel because the whole not wearing the mask thing is absolutely ridiculous,” Lori Carroll stated. “They need to educate themselves.”
The owner mentioned they have not been required to wear facemasks since last summer.
“As far as I’m concerned, we won’t require face masks ever unless its required by the county,” he added.
Fox said he has received both positive and negative views in regard to the sign posted.
“…. Maybe two out of ten responses are ‘Eff you, you suck,’ it is just more of a blanket statement,” Fox said, mentioning that the whole experience “caught me off guard”.
“I think we’re using common sense; no one can expect to go to a restaurant and eat a mean,” he said. “Back when it was required and I had to be in the back cooking, we were wearing masks. It is not easy. I am breathing a lot easier and a lot less on your food than when I am.