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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The City of Oklahoma City mask mandate is not planned to renew beyond its expiration at the end of the month which is Friday. But, business owners will have the right to continue requiring masks inside their businesses.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council does not have an item to extend the mandate. And, such an item likely would not pass with the current set of counselors, some of whom even had an end to the mandate as one of the points of their campaigns.

City of Oklahoma City’s mask mandate was established in July 2020 with a 6-3 vote and renewed several times during the pandemic. The last renewal was set to end at 12:00 a.m. Friday.

Business policies

However, the lack of a mask mandate past Friday does not erase a business owner’s right to set their own policies for masks inside of their business.

City staff caution shoppers to be aware that businesses have had the right to establish “no shoes, no shirt, no service” types of policies for many years now and masks could easily become a part of those requirements.

Those rights to make such requirements include businesses, public and private organizations, property owners and leaseholders.

“We’re just reminding everyone that they still need to wear a mask in places where they’re required, or choose to go somewhere else,” said City Manager Craig Freeman in a City press release.

“There will be places to shop and gather that require masks, and places that don’t. We’re hopefully on the exit ramp for this pandemic. It’s more important than ever to show each other respect and grace as we navigate the spring and summer.”

Potential citation

The City is reminding everyone that when someone is lawfully asked to wear certain attire like shirts, shoes, and now perhaps masks, and don’t, they can be asked to leave.

And, if they don’t, they could receive a citation and be arrested by police for trespassing.

When inside of a private business the lawful rules of the business apply even though there may be certain freedoms to engage in actions like not wearing shoes outside the business.

That reality was often lost on some especially at the beginning of the pandemic.

Especially in 2020, scenes of shouting and scuffles with store employees over mask requirements happened across the U.S.

Vaccinations available

The City of Oklahoma City is reminding residents that vaccinations are now readily available to anyone over 16.

To arrange appointments, explore any of these links:

Last Updated April 26, 2021, 12:17 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor