Effective May 1, 2021, Georgia governor Brian Kemp removed the remaining social distancing requirements at bars and restaurants and eliminated masks requirements for customer-facing staff like servers and bartenders. Restaurants and bars can continue to individually implement these and other safety measures, including requiring both staff and patrons to wear masks and limiting capacity inside.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, including inside restaurants and bars. However, people who are not fully vaccinated should continue wearing masks, according to the guidance.
This latest advice from the CDC puts the mask onus back on the public and relies on individuals being truthful about their vaccination status. Are Atlanta diners ready to drop their masks at restaurants, and will this new CDC guidance prompt some people to avoid restaurants and bars no longer requiring face coverings inside?
The Georgia Department of Public Health, which clarified its stance on masks in a recent tweet following the CDC announcement, has administered 6,830,213 vaccines and currently lists just 30 percent of the state’s population as fully vaccinated.
Even with the recent decline in overall COVID-19 cases throughout the country, public health experts warn that easing restrictions and ending mask mandates too soon — and before at least 70 percent of the general population is fully vaccinated — could lead to another surge among the unvaccinated brought on by highly infectious variants.
Eater Atlanta wants to hear from readers and restaurant industry workers regarding their feelings on masks and dining out these days. Take this brief survey, which includes questions on vaccinations, wearing masks indoors, and whether mask policies should remain in place at restaurants and bars.
Please answer the following questions in the survey below as honestly as possible. You will not be asked to provide your name or any other personal identifying information.