New Hampshire residents react to end of mask mandate
LITTLETON, N.H. (WCAX) - It’s been almost a week since Gov. Chris Sununu lifted New Hampshire’s statewide mask mandate. So we wanted to know if that is changing people’s habits.
“It is kind of a sensitive topic,” said Courtney Avila of Whitefield.
Avila and her family were leaving the Littleton Diner, a business that still requires a mask to enter.
“I think to protect everybody and to protect ourselves, it is probably the best way to go,” Avila said. “I know not everyone agrees.”
Across the street at the courthouse and post office, a sign urges people to stop the spread of COVID-19. The signs are up and down Main Street.
“The virus didn’t just disappear on Friday,” said Adam Reczek of Dalton, who manages the Littleton Opera House.
He questions the governor’s decision to let the statewide mandate sunset, especially based on current data.
“If anything, that to me suggests we need to be doing more than we are, not less,” Reczek said.
While some shoppers on Main Street chose not to wear masks, it appeared the majority were wearing them or put them on as they entered individual businesses.
“I don’t think the mandate should have been lifted yet,” said Jessica Goldblatt, who owns Interiors Green, a natural home products store. “I still would like people to wear masks in my business but for the few that walk in that feel really strongly, that is also OK.”
“We are excited to see masks fade away soon but it might not be the right time right away,” said Stefanie Moody, who owns Bella Funk Boutique, a women’s clothing store a couple of doors down. “It’s pretty much our call now as business owners, so it does put a lot of pressure on us.”
Sununu still encourages people to wear masks but says Granite Staters do not need a statewide mandate to do the right thing.
The question many are asking is why now?
“I don’t know if it is just marketing or if it’s, I can’t imagine it’s based on any evidence that the virus has gone away because it hasn’t,” Reczek said.
“I think it is nice people have a choice and you can do whatever you feel safe and comfortable doing,” Avila said.
Beginning May 7 in New Hampshire, restrictions will loosen even more, including capacity limits at restaurants, which will be back to 100%.
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