Most Florida businesses asking customers to wear masks

Some businesses closing to protect customers

Over the weekend, several Orlando-area bars announced they were closing almost as quickly as they had reopened.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Over the weekend, several Orlando-area bars announced they were closing almost as quickly as they had reopened.

The Guesthouse posted on its Facebook page:

“We regret to announce that we will be temporarily closing our doors, once again, as the COVID-19 numbers begin to rise rapidly in Florida and Orlando. We feel it is our duty to temporarily close to properly protect both our team and our community.”

The Matador posted that it closed after “A member of the Matador staff received a positive COVID-19 test today.”

Orange County bars have had to manage crowds while implementing Mayor Jerry Demings' mask requirement for anyone out in public that went into effect Friday night.

Mask requirements vary county-by-county.

On Monday, State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees recommended: “all individuals in FL should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.”

But in Seminole County, masks are not mandatory.

Still, business owners like Ruben Hilario of Knights Barber Shop in Oviedo, are asking customers to wear face coverings.

Hilario is managing the risks of customers bringing in and sharing Coronavirus versus the opportunity to pay bills after several months of zero income.

“Right now the situation is difficult with everything going on,” Hilario said. “A lot of barbers have left, said it was too slow. Within two weeks that we opened, they said it was too slow.”

Hilario owns two barbershops. The business was picking up, he said until the spike in cases.

"So it's slow again," Hilario said. "On and off."

He prefers anyone entering his shop to wear masks, but does not force customers to wear them and fears a mandate that would make them mandatory.

“Unfortunately I hate to see that customer leave [if he doesn’t have or won’t wear a mask],” Hilario. “Right now we’re in a situation where we want to keep every customer that we can, that’s money going out the door.”

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.