Most Houston restaurants still requiring masks, survey says

Want to listen to live music in Houston? That can happen. But some places will ask you to wear a mask.

Video Transcript

TOM KOCH: With the state's COVID-19 restrictions now over, there are places you still have to wear a mask. And here's Jeff Ehling with where those places are and changes inside restaurants. Jeff.

JEFF EHLING: And, Tom, we really have focused on asking restaurant owners what they think and what they're going to do. But we also wanted to find out about other places, like hospitals, the airport, the METRO bus. Bottom line-- don't get rid of that mask just yet.

When you go out to eat, do not be surprised if you're asked to wear a mask. 70% of restaurant owners in our area surveyed by the Texas Restaurant Association will have their staffs wear masks and will request customers do the same. At Hobby and Bush Airport, and on airplanes, at county-run hospitals-- like Ben Taub and LBJ-- and on board METRO buses and trains, you will still be required to wear masks.

As the vaccines roll out, there will be a time when half the population is vaccinated against COVID-19 and half isn't. What will happen then? Will restaurants have seating plans based on your vaccination status?

- I'm not sure that we're going to be requiring vaccine cards to get seated just yet. But you never know. This whole thing has been very unpredictable. So I won't rule anything out, but that seems a little bit unlikely.

JEFF EHLING: No place we spoke to currently has plans to segregate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. But we wanted to know, if it does come to that, what are your rights?

- I think that's going to be off limits. I don't think you can ask one of your patrons, or one of your employees for that matter, whether or not they've been vaccinated. That's too private of information, and I don't think that this would be allowed.

JEFF EHLING: So we asked the Department of Public Safety about the driver's license office. They tell us that no state agency will require anyone to wear a mask. However, they say that their employees and the general public are encouraged to wear them. So, Tom, it kind of all goes back to what your comfort level is.

TOM KOCH: Right.

JEFF EHLING: Do you want to wear a mask? OK. Do you have to? Well, no, in some places. But, again, transportation is different. You will have to wear a mask on a plane.

TOM KOCH: I would say about 80%, maybe 90% of the people at least responding on my Facebook say they'll still continue to wear their masks, so--

JEFF EHLING: From what I have heard, what I have seen, most people are saying the same thing-- that they will continue to do it for themselves, at least until the point where they're vaccinated or their family's vaccinated. Then, after that, they'll reassess

TOM KOCH: OK, Jeff. Thanks. And as more--