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Scottsdale businesses trying to keep the status quo on masks, social distancing

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-27 16:29:17-04

PHOENIX — Businesses across the Valley are adjusting to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's decision on Thursday to lift nearly all of the COVID-19-related requirements for business, such as requiring masks, social distancing, and limiting groups to no more than 10 people.

That order also forced local cities and towns, and Maricopa County, to rescind their own mask mandates, instead, strongly encouraging their residents to continue to follow the CDC's guidance.

On Friday, crowds were seen milling around Old Town Scottsdale, many people not wearing masks.

Home to tourist shops and an abundance of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, private businesses have the ability to still require their employees and customers to wear masks -- and many businesses in Arizona let their followers known on social media that those rules would be kept in place.

"We will still be requiring masks in the store, just in the best interest of our staff and our customers," said Libby Anderson, who works at Zoolikins Children's Boutique, near Fifth Avenue and Craftman Court.

Anderson told ABC15 they will replace some of the COVID signs in front of the store with new ones, albeit carefully worded.

"I'd rather just have something quick and simple on the door that's like , 'hey, we know that you're no longer required to wear a mask, but within our shop, we would ask that you do wear a mask for the good of our guests and our staff,'" she said.

She said the first customers in the door on Friday were not wearing their masks, but complied after being asked to wear them, she said.

"I just feel like when it's presented as you are a guest and we want to keep you safe and we want to create a space that makes others feel safe, I feel like there can't really be confrontation with that," she said. "Because it's just about being respectful."

Not far away in Arcadia, Justin Beckett, chef and owner of Beckett's Table, a restaurant near 36th Street and Indian School Road, said he and his team will keep the status quo for now. That means tables will remain spaced out and staff and customers will need to wear a mask when entering.

"We are asking our guests to come in in a mask," he said. "It's just out of respect for our employees, it's out of respect for the establishment."

Beckett said decisions on how - and when - to relax their guidelines will be a continuous conversation.

"I don't know how we're going to make the decision in two weeks or three weeks or a month from now," Beckett said. "I think the biggest thing is to listen to the people on social media that talk to us. I think we want to listen to the guests that are in our buildings and then also listen to our employees, listen to our staff. We're here working every day with our employees and we really want them to feel comfortable coming to work."

Beckett doesn't anticipate any issues and said customers throughout the pandemic have realized everyone is doing the best that they can.

"We don't get a lot of people who come in here and point a finger at us or raise their voice," he said. "So we've been very fortunate, and I hope that that's how it will continue to go."