CDC lifting indoor mask mandates has Lowcountry businesses hopeful for more customers and staff

Local News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Relaxed mask restrictions, thanks to new guidelines by the CDC has many Lowcountry businesses breathing a sigh of relief.

“Customers coming back to see us and seeing people we haven’t seen in a long time,” Andy Palmer, Owner of Tavern and Table.

Mask restrictions being lifted in the Town of Mount Pleasant has helped bring in customers for business owners like Andy Palmer at Tavern and Table, but with the CDC’s new guidelines he hopes it brings more employees.

“Maybe this makes some people more comfortable to come back to work knowing that if you are vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask,” Palmer says.

Local health officials say with Charleston County having only 40% of the population vaccinated keeping masks on while close to others is still the safest route.

“If you are in an enclosed area you still want to be vigilant. This hasn’t gone away and remember where we were last year,” Dr. Robert Oliverio, Chief Medical Officer Roper St. Francis.

As business kicks up for the summer season, owners say they’ll let their customers decide whether to mask up or not.

“At this point we are going to give our customers and staff a little more freedom,” Palmer says.

Health officials are more cautious, urging businesses not to roll back health protocols to quickly.

“I don’t think we are out of the woods yet. I am hoping that having anywhere from between 20-40% of people vaccinated helps,” Dr. Oliverio says.

Doctors at Roper St. Francis say their goal is to stay open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. so they can vaccinate as many people as possible.

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