Business owners, customers react to new Austin COVID-19 orders


AUSTIN (KXAN) — After Austin and Travis County leaders announced new COVID-19 business orders, local shops and customers are reacting.

At places like Waterloo Records and The Herb Bar, where masking has been required for months now, not much will change. The Herb Bar has had ‘mask up, y’all’ signs on their front door since June of 2020.

“Our owner and all of our employees really felt more comfortable for themselves, their health and the health of their families to require everyone to wear a mask,” owner Jenny Oak Walker said. The staff at The Herb Bar have all gotten their booster shots and have so far avoided getting COVID-19, something Oak Walker hopes will stay that way.

“It would be really difficult for one of us to get sick with COVID and have to close the business down for, is it two weeks?” she said.

Meanwhile, a woman shopping nearby, Kendall Becker, said she’s neutral about whether vaccines and masks are required in businesses, but that she feels it’s her responsibility to follow the rules posted by a business.

“If you’re coming to this establishment, you should be following the protocols of the business. You’re being a patron and it’s their rules and if I go anywhere that is requiring masks or six feet distance it is my job to be respectful and follow that,” she said.

Becker says for her, the stakes are much lower than they are for the people who are operating the businesses and she respects their guidelines.

“It’s their livelihood so for me to be any kind of upset or have any kind of issues with that is kind of crazy to me,” Becker said.

Are you a business owner in Austin? Send us your reaction to the new COVID-19 business rules by emailing

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