SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Beaufort has joined a list of Lowcountry municipalities allowing the mask mandate to expire.
While that means you don’t have to wear a mask in public environments, you might have to wear one in small businesses or other private establishments.
“It is not an easy decision. We are being very cautious about our citizens and the safety of our residents.”
Beaufort city is following Beaufort County and the town of Bluffton’s by allowing government mask rules to disappear.
“We feel that the timing is such that people still need to be responsible, but opportunity allows us to say that it’s time to strongly encourage masking but not mandate it.”
As the vaccinations become more accessible, they feel the time of the mask is coming to an end.
“Only half of our population has had its at least one inoculation.”
But that doesn’t mean there will be no masks in Beaufort.
“There are many that will continue to hold those requirements within their businesses and their offices and the courts in South Carolina as well.”
Grounded Running just off Boundary has enforced the mask ordinance until now, but says things are changing
“We are not going to mandate, no. And if someone is still comfortable wearing one we are going to respect that.”
While they will not require customers to wear masks, workers will be.
“Because we are such an intimate process here as far as face-to-face with customers, even after the mask mandate expires, we are going to continue to wear masks.”
They say they know people have different opinions on masks.
“As a comfort level is going to vary from customer to customer, we are going to respect that.”
And say they believe everyone can make their own decision.
“I feel that it’s everyone’s continued responsibility to decide what’s best for them.”
The ordinance officially expires on April 30 at midnight.