Businesses requiring COVID vaccinations weigh in on expanding statewide mask mandate

BUFFALO NY (WIVB) — Local restaurants that currently have a vaccine requirement instead of a mask mandate, like Frizzy’s on Allen Street, will have to wait a bit longer before lifting either requirement.

“We just want people to feel safe and comfortable,” Frizzy owner Marc Frisicaro said. “And we’re going to comply with Erie County laws right now, and hopefully when they end it in New York State, Erie County will also comply and get rid of it.”

Frisicaro’s business begins requiring customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations after Erie County required masks for all indoor locations in November 2021. He told News 4 that once the state and countywide mask mandate is lifted, he will rethink this policy.

“Everyone feels like they want to get back to normal,” he said. “I really don’t remember. It seems like every time you get close to them they either move the goal post or there is some other rule change.

Down the street at Nietzsche’s bar, a vaccine requirement has been in place since September 2021, months before a mask mandate was in place.

“We’ve been pretty consistent with our messaging for months now; we were one of the first bars and places to do that, said Nietzsche programmer Mac McGuire. “If and when the mask mandate is lifted, it really won’t change anything for us. Expect to continue to require proof of vaccination for the foreseeable future.

The statewide mask mandate is set to expire Feb. 10. Erie County’s mask mandate is reviewed every five days and was last renewed Jan. 26.

Sarah Minkewicz is a journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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