BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, the Birmingham City Council approved the extension of the citywide mask mandate for businesses. This decision comes just days before Governor Kay Ivey’s state order is set to expire on Friday.
Businesses throughout the city have been enforcing masks in their establishments since last summer.
“So, keeping our community safe is really important and that means making sacrifices in terms of the amount of people we can get in here to make sure that the people who are here are safe and health,” said Kaitlyn Bentley, owner of True40 Fitness Studio.
Bentley said she’s in full support of the extended mask mandate.
“We were planning to keep the masks in place anyway. So we are really happy that the city of Birmingham has extended it because it helps validate the choice that we were already going to make,” she said.
“I have spoken to many small business owners throughout the city and a majority of them have come to me voluntarily via text, email, or see me in person and they were adamant about the city and wanted to encourage the city to make an ordinance,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.
Moving forward, Woodfin said it’s going to be up to each business owner to enforce mask masks in their respective establishments.
“It’s on the small business owner to say if you can walk in there with shoes or no shoes. It’s on the small business owner to say if you can walk in there with clothes on or no clothes on. It’s the same for this face mask and we support our small business owners and they will decide who, what, when, where and how for those who frequent their business,” he said.
For Bentley, she will continue to stand beside city leaders as they do their best to keep small business up and running.
“Me and several other business centers have appreciated it. So yeah, we will support the city and were glad they are supporting us and keeping masks in place,” she said.