Local shoppers and business owners express excitement ahead of mask mandate drop

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PORTLAND Oregon. (KPTV) – Tonight at 11:59 p.m. will mark the last day masks are required in most indoor settings, with local shoppers and business owners responding enthusiastically.

FOX 12 spoke with Stem Wine Bar owner Wei-En Tan, who tells us that when it comes to masks in her bar, she’s ready, and so is her crew.

“I think I feel a sense of relief actually we are one of the last places in the United States to drop mask mandates. We’re still going to respect people who want to wear their masks inside, but we’re not going to require any of that for employees or for guests coming in, I think it’s time,” Tan says.

Tan mentioned that with vaccination rates as they are now, she thinks we are in a better position to make an important decision like this, adding that others in the region are too.

“Almost every restaurant on this street that I’ve spoken to is going to drop their vaccine screening requirements as well as the mask mandate,” Tan says.

Sara Kolp, owner of retail store Flutter, is a bit more hesitant.

“I don’t think we’re off the hook here. Another variant could appear, but our vaccination rates are very good in the city,” says Kolp.

With the spring and summer tourist season coming up, Kolp says it’s more a question of how vaccination rates are in other states.

“There were many more tourists than local customers. I just hope people don’t come out if they feel sick,” Kolp says.

The local business owner says his employees will continue to wear masks, but others are free to do whatever they want, and to that, local buyer Phil Lofrumento says, “I just think that it will make people happier because when you smile at someone their first response is to smile back, you know? I think that will be a good thing.

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