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Ohio business owners decide whether or not to ditch restrictions as health orders lift

Businesses can make the decision if they want to drop or keep the orders.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health says, beginning Wednesday, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear a mask or practice social distancing.  

As part of the adjustment, businesses can make the decision if they want to drop or keep the orders.  

Some are dropping them. 

“We’re sticking to the June 2. That’s what we were told by the governor, that’s what we’re doing,” said Tommy Gallo, owner of Gallo’s Kitchen & Bar.  

Others are keeping the orders. 

“We will maintain how we’ve been operating for like, the last year,” said Darryl Abbington, owner of Elite Barbers barbershop.  

Two different answers and two different reasons why.  

Gallo said his business sits in Columbus City limits. The city’s mask mandate will still be in place even after the state orders expire, until City Council members revoke the current order in place.   

Gallo said it’s confusing to him and many others.  

“You have so many dates thrown at you. That standing around and “mealing” is good for business,” said Gallo.  

He said you’ll start to notice little things coming and going, like saltshakers back on tables and the removal of plexiglass at the bar. 

But if you head to Abbington’s barbershop - not much is changing.  

The shop sits in Franklin County. That mandate has already been lifted. Still, Abbington said he’s not going to jump back into things just yet.  

“We’ve got to go home to our families when we leave the barbershop. I have young kids, some of the other guys have young kids and wives and family that you have to go home to and we’re trying to keep them safe,” he said.  

He said appointments will still be required and chairs won’t be put back in to keep crowds from gathering.  

Two different businesses with two different approaches on moving forward.  

A spokesperson with Columbus City Council said they plan on taking up the issue about the City’s mask mandate at their next scheduled meeting next Monday.