PITTSBURGH — For many South Side businesses, the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s announcement that the universal mask mandate will be lifted Monday June 28 couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We can start getting back to the business of getting back to business,” said Carleen King, owner of Carmi.
Each week, more people are getting out to enjoy the bars and restaurants along East Carson Street.
Even though the state order will be lifted in a few days, businesses still have the option of requiring masks for their customers.
“We are totally dropping all the mask mandates. But of course, if a customer is more comfortable or for a child that is under 12, and it’s required. But other than not at all,” said King.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 75% of Pennsylvanians 18 and older had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, with nearly 60% fully vaccinated.
Those numbers are good news for businesses whose bottom line has been hurt by the pandemic.
“We have an outside now. Everyone is coming there, and it’s only going to get better,” said Mike Voelker, owner of Nadine’s.