Confusion grows over mask requirements for businesses

Some businesses say they will go against Pima County’s mask requirement
Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 11:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Confusion is growing for many businesses across Pima County as they are unsure of whose mask rules to listen to.

Today the county said the mask requirement for businesses remains in effect, going against Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order.

“At Union Hospitality Group were still maintaining that masks are recommended but in following the governors order they’re no longer required,” said Grant Krueger, the owner of Union Hospitality Group.

“There’s not even a discussion, its not a debate. If they don’t want to get their mask on or they argue with me about it, I show them the door,” said Pete Snell, a Co-Owner of The Arizona Wine Collective.

While Krueger and Snell may disagree about whose orders to follow, both say the ever-changing mask rulings are frustrating and hard on business.

“We’ve all got a lesson on civics between the federal government and their powers the state government and their powers and the municipalities and their powers,” said Krueger.

Krueger believes the county is over stepping their boundary, again.

“Unfortunately, Pima County has taken a number of unlawful positions during the pandemic,” said Krueger.

Union Hospitality was involved in a lawsuit against the county’s mandatory curfew, in which a judge ruled in favor of the restaurants.

“We believe again that Pima County will be found in violation of governors current executive order 2021-05, suggesting that no town or municipality should be able to make a rule more restrictive than the states,” said Krueger.

Union says business is booming following its move to optional masks. But Snell thinks it would hurt his business.

“We felt strongly that if we had just said great no more masks, that our business would have dropped,” said Snell.

Snell says, for him, it’s not about whose right or wrong but about doing the right thing- and making sure his customers feel comfortable.

“I absolutely applauded the county for doing what they’re doing,” said Lori Rieth, an Arizona wine Collective Customer.

Reith is also a volunteer vaccinator at TMC, she says she wouldn’t be here if masks weren’t required.

“Its absolutely essential that we follow the mask mandate and that we don’t let up on any of the efforts to contain this virus,” said Rieth.

Pima County says businesses in violation of the mask mandate could be fined $500 per infraction, and risk having their operating permits suspended or revoked.

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