NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton board of health has voted “yes” on a mask mandate for city businesses, but concerns are being raised by local businesses and residents.
When you visit Northampton businesses, as of Wednesday, August 11, you will have to wear a mask now that the Northampton board of health voted 4 to 0 in favor of a mask mandate indoors.
“I am somewhat reluctant to walk into a store if there is mask mandate,” said Gabe Nicotera from Northampton.
The vote comes as coronavirus cases continue to increase across the state. The Northampton Board of health citing more cases of breakthrough infections over unvaccinated cases in the city since July 1.
“Right now, people are used to not having their masks on,” said Liam Sugrue of Northampton. “So if there are a couple of businesses that do have it, you kind of avoid them.”
22News spoke with Andrew Brow, owner of High Brow in Northampton, who said that they are worried if there is a mask mandate in Northampton then people will go to other towns where there are no mask mandates instead.
“Just like everybody else we want to get rid of the virus and take care of it,” said Brow. “I think we should follow more so what the rest of the state is doing rather than singling ourselves out. I think if the rest of the state is not requiring masks and Northampton is, it will stop people from coming to our businesses.”
There are exceptions to the mask mandate. You don’t have to wear one when you’re eating and drinking. People with certain medical conditions are exempt. It will not apply to office spaces that are not open to the public.
Health officials are encouraging residents to wear a mask in those spaces when social distancing is not possible.