Community leaders, business owners react to face mask mandate ending

Many people are still deciding if they'll continue to wear a mask after the mandate ends. Here's how some business owners say they'll operate.

Video Transcript

SHELLEY CHILDERS: Tom, we've already heard from several national retailers saying they're going to keep their corporate policy here in Texas requiring a mask for both employees and their customers. But for local businesses like the Marquis II here on Bissonett and West University, making a decision one way or the other could have big implications. Inside the Marquis II, a longtime staple in West University, owner Al Jara says he is frustrated.

He wants to stay safe. He wants to put an end to the pandemic. But at the same time, he needs customers. Like so many local small businesses, they rely on a loyal community of patrons. Keeping everyone satisfied is hard enough and now, he says he feels like he has to make a decision on safety protocols that have unfortunately turned into a political stance.

AL JARA: I don't believe the owners should be on small business. I think, especially in the hospitality industry over the last year, we've been hurt the most. And requiring us now to take a side on the masks-- it isn't right in my opinion.

SHELLEY CHILDERS: So we are just five days away from the mask mandate ending across the state of Texas. Al Jara says he's been carefully weighing how to keep his business open safely. I asked him if he will continue this mask mandate, or if he'll allow customers to come in to his restaurant and bar with no mask at all. Coming up at 10:00 I'll have that answer. [? Forever ?] reporting live from West University, Shelley Childers-- ABC 13-- Eyewitness News.