Florida bar owner prohibits patrons from wearing masks

The owner said that anyone who refuses to remove their face covering will be asked to leave

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gary Kirby, the owner of Westside Sports Bar and Lounge in West Melbourne, Florida started banning masks on September 11.

Taking a hard stand against customers wearing face coverings inside his business, Kirby placed a sign on his door that prohibits masks upon entry.

Read More: Anti-masking controversies are nothing new

Residents of West Melbourne, which is in Brevard County, are encouraged to wear a mask and follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, Don Walker, the communications director for Brevard County told Fox News.

Juan Carlos, a host at Ocean 10 restaurant, stands at the entrance of the restaurant to turn customers away as a curfew from 8pm to 6am is put in place on July 18, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But Walker added there is no law enforcement for mask-wearing.

According to WESH2, Kirby said that anyone who refuses to remove their face covering will be asked to leave.

“We find it completely unnecessary to have face masks at all. We do not support them; we do not believe in them,” Kirby said.

He added that anyone entering the bar wearing a mask would be asked to remove it, and it they refused to comply, they would be forced to leave.

Kirby claimed that his reason for banning masks was a security issue and explained that someone wearing a surgical mask had burglarized his business after hours on Aug. 9.

He said the perpetrator was not identifiable on his security cameras. In addition to security issues, Kirby mentioned that mask wearing was “hindering our lifestyle as we know it.”

The New York Times reported that there have been at least 677,652 cases of coronavirus in Florida and 13,224 deaths as of September 19.

Read More: Rite Aid manager fired after defending herself against violent customer over mask

Since establishing the no-mask rule, Kirby said that his Facebook business page has taken off. “They love it,” he boasted. But on the other hand, Kirby has received death threats regarding his new policy.

He said he isn’t allowing the death threats to impact his decision. In fact, he’s going to start making shirts that advertise his no-mask mandate.

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