As more businesses announce new policies on vaccinations and masks, business owners have to decide whether to keep a mandate in place and how to enforce it.
For some, a relaxation on mask recommendations is, as Bay City commissioner Kerice Basmadjiam says, “a light at the end of the tunnel.”
But Lance Gable, a law professor at Wayne State University, says it could be problematic.
“If everyone just stops wearing masks and just stops taking precautions, including people who are unvaccinated, that’s going to result in a lot more spread of the disease,” Gable said.
The problem is the unknown.
“A lot of people now are going to be going around without masks and you’re not going to be able to tell who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t been,” Gable said.
But are separate businesses and entities allowed to require proof of vaccination?
“They certainly could request that information, but if a person refuses, there’s nothing the business can necessarily do to force them. You can’t force someone to divulge their private medical information,” Gable said.
The business could still enforce a mask requirement but some business owners are glad enforcing masks is no longer on their to-do list, like Dustin Hartz of Midland Street Books and the Art Department.
“I think it put businesses in a rough spot for a while, having to ask things of their customers, so it’s good news,” Hartz said.
Now every business has the choice to require masks inside or not.
“It’s not only going to be confusing, but I think it’s going to be unsettling for a lot of people,” Gable said.