Masks will not be required for retail customers, but strongly recommended


By Christine Holmes, News Director

A day after telling Ohioans that they will be required to wear masks when shopping at retail businesses when they open on May 12, Governor Mike DeWine announced he is reversing that decision.

“Within the last 24 hours, it’s really become clear to me that… the mandatory mask requirement for people who are shopping, going into a retail business, is offensive to some of our fellow Ohioans. I understand that,” said DeWine.

After conversations with concerned citizens, including the mother of an individual with autism, DeWine said he concluded the mandate is difficult for some to follow.

“As governor, it is my responsibility to make some of the tough decisions, but it’s also my responsibility to listen, to hear and to be respectful of the thoughts and ideas of my fellow Ohioans,” said DeWine.

The decision will now be left to the discretion of individual shoppers, but DeWine emphasized that face coverings are still a strong recommendation.

“Although it’s not a mandate now, it is clearly in the best interest of Ohioans to wear a mask in retail,” said DeWine. “It gives added protection to others, and when you wear a mask, you’re protecting those around you from possibly getting sick.”

Employees will still be required to wear masks.