KIRKLAND - No mask, no service: That’s the mandate handed down by Governor Jay Inslee to businesses statewide starting Tuesday, July 7. It means businesses will be required to turn away customers who aren’t wearing face coverings.
The face-covering requirement follows a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Washington.
Q13 News watched as a man who wasn't wearing a mask walked into the Starbucks in downtown Kirkland. He was told to wear one. He pulled his shirt over his face the rest of the time he was inside. They still served him a beverage.
"I don't really think it will really do anything," the man said about the governor's new requirement.
It gets more serious starting on Tuesday. Businesses that serve customers without a mask could face fines or be forced to close after having their business license revoked.
"It's kind of like they say, no shirt no shoes no service. Well, no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service," said Kirkland resident Michael Radcliff, who supports the governor's move.
Sammy Khan, who operates XHALE Vapor and Smoke shop in Kirkland, is making it easy for his customers. Come in without a mask – get one for free.
He spends his days disinfecting, believing those working the front counters in retail are now on the front lines. Khan added, the mask mandate for customers wipes away many of his health concerns about coronavirus.
"I definitely think this is a really good thing," Khan said. "We don't have anything else. We don't have a vaccination. We don't have drugs. We don't have anything that protects us from COVID."
At The Shop hair salon down the street, want a cut... wear a mask. That’s been the requirement since they reopened.
"In the beginning when we first re-opened, people were asking a lot of questions," said salon worker Raven Bean. "What brand are you using? Do you guys provide them? Do we have to pay for them? Now, no problems whatsoever."
Still, not all are convinced the state should be telling businesses – how to do business.
"I think it should be up to the businesses," said Teresa Block. "They're entitled to do what they think is best for their business.
Her husband Barry Block added, "I think it's up to each individual to decide what's best for them, and we have freedom in this country."
A debate, further unmasking our divided feelings about whether people should be forced to cover up.
If you need a mask, the state is offering them for free. The state purchased 3.6 million cloth face masks with a plan to distribute two masks to every person in Washington in a family who makes less than $52,400 per year.
To request a mask contact your local emergency managers.