What are the implications of a “no mask” policy?

On May 30, 2020, New Jersey Lawyer and Bianchi Law Group partner, Robert (Bob) Bianchi paneled an opinion section on Chasing News with Bill Spadea. The issue at hand involves a Texas bar owner who is refusing to serve guests wearing protective face masks.

Although the Liberty Tree Tavern in Elgin, Texas is following guidelines on reduced capacity and physical distancing, their public statement claims that customers who feel uncomfortable not wearing a mask should stay home until they do feel comfortable. This, they say, is to make their other (non-mask wearing) patrons feel more comfortable while in the bar.

Host Bill Spadea does note that the WHO and the CDC have differing advice and views on mask-wearing.

Bob Bianchi weighed in on this issue when asked, “What would you say to the owner of Liberty Tree Tavern on the ‘no mask’ policy?”

To which Bianchi replied, “You are out of your mind!”

More fully, Bianchi explained that refusing service to those who wear masks opens this business up to negligence and recklessness as the country is battling a dangerous global pandemic.

Still, this scenario begs the question, do businesses have the right to refuse service if you are wearing a mask? Do they also have the right to refuse service if you aren’t? Needless to say, the Covid-19 pandemic is raising, and eventually will be answering, a lot of questions many never thought would be asked.