Atlantic Beach businesses adjust to face mask mandate

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – As Governor Cooper’s face mask mandate takes effect, business owners are taking different approaches for how they’ll handle the new requirement.

Some Atlantic Beach businesses are offering full service whether customers are wearing a face covering or not, others are putting limits on what they’re offering customers without a mask.

Taylor Thomas has taken every precaution possible to ensure people are staying safe when stepping onto her restaurant, the Shark Shack.

Around the to-go restaurant, markers have been placed to determine the six-foot distance between people. Tables have been spaced out to allow for social distance. A sign also notifies people which menus have been touched and which ones are clean for use.

Thomas said these precautions are enough and “as long as people are respecting each other’s distance and being conscientious where they’re standing or who they’re speaking to” she has no requirements for customers to wear a mask.

Jean Wilkerson, the owner of Zazzy Kids, is giving people options if they want to shop at her store. Private showings are available for customers exempted from the mandate.

“I have had several grandmothers who didn’t want to wear the mask, and whether they’re couldn’t breathe, or had trouble seeing or whatever, which can be a hazard, now I’ll just offer them private showing hours,” said Wilkerson.

Otherwise, upon entering her store, customers will notice a sign that reads to knock before entering, wear a face mask, and one group in at a time.

But you will be turned away at Edgewater Linen and Interior if you don’t wear a face covering.

“I have a handful of people who have tried to give me a hard time, or try to make it a political thing or​ express their opinion. I’ve asked to keep it to themselves. I respect their opinion but this is my store and these are my customers and 98 percent of them appreciate it,” said Patti Norris, owner of Edgewater Linen and Interior.

Norris only allows two to four people in at a time, and each person gets a spritz of hand sanitizer.

The pandemic is still be felt at retails stores like Noriss’, but other owner say the mask mandate won’t be a problem for customers.

The executive order state face masks are required in places where social distancing is not possible.

Part of the executive order states if a customer is part of the exception to the rule, businesses may choose to offer services like curbside or home deliveries.

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