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Mandatory Masks Good for Business, as Well as Public Health

Study indicates mandatory masks would make travelers feel safer

Let’s talk about face coverings for a moment. Starting tonight at 6 p.m., face coverings will be required by all in the 12 counties throughout Ohio showing the highest indicators of virus spread. Not complying with this regulation is a misdemeanor.

Even if your county is not mandating face coverings for your guests (remember, face coverings are mandatory for employees in Ohio), many attractions, hotels, retailers are requiring masks for entry. We are hearing of more and more every day making this a requirement.

More than 70% of potential visitors say mandatory face coverings will make them feel safer.

Colleen Dillen/Know Your Bone research team has been tracking consumer behavior for months, looking at what will make travelers comfortable to visit museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, nature areas, etc. When asked June 29 what would make them feel safe and comfortable going to a museum, aquarium, theatre, zoo or concert again, most survey respondents said availability of a coronavirus vaccine (74%). This hasn’t changed as the top indicator of safety.  

What’s really interesting is that mandatory face coverings has risen from 54% of respondents to more than 70% in the last two weeks, surpassing “seeing others visit” as the second most popular reason. After reviewing this research, as well as other questions that looked at intensity of mask-wearing as essential from both sides of the issue, the authors declared “research suggests that not requiring masks will have a greater negative impact on attendance than requiring them for a vast majority of organizations.”

Other shifts in opinions during this timeframe are as follows:

  1. Governments lifting restrictions doesn’t make people feel safe. In fact, the percentage of those saying “lifting of restrictions by the government” will make them feel safer plummeted over the last few weeks indicating lack of trust that some of these decisions are done with public safety in mind.
  2. Being outdoors has become even more important.
  3. Seeing others visit remain a top factor. They want to see friends, family members and others visiting a community or attraction before they feel comfortable doing so.  

What can you do if your guests refuse to don a facial covering?

That’s the million-dollar question these days. We’ve put together some ideas we’ve heard, but this is obviously a new issue, and we all need to learn from each other. If you have some ideas or thoughts, please post them below.

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