HOUSTON - Wednesday marks the first day of the state’s reopening. Businesses are now allowed to operate at 100% and the mask mandate was lifted.
"I think it's a good idea to keep your mask on for the most part, it’s a healthy choice. Some people haven’t had COVID and they get nervous, so let's not make everybody nervous. But at the same time, I don’t know, it is nice not to have to wear it," said Katherine Tattersall.
"I don’t feel like it really changed the daily behaviors of most people. I think it’s just the governor’s act to kind of, like shift people’s focus to something else from the winter storm," said Stella, who did not want to reveal her last name.
Spots like Puffabelly’s Restaurant in Old Town Spring immediately took down their signs requiring masks. Manager Joseph Mirelez said all customers, even those unmasked, are welcome.
"We need the money and if they don’t want to wear one, we can’t force them. The mandate has been lifted," said Mirelez.
While some places in the Heights seemed no different and rather quiet on reopening day, other businesses are bringing back live in-person events for the first time in almost a year.
On Thursday, the Bayou Music Center downtown will have its first concert and turtle races will resume at Little Woodrow’s in Midtown.
"'Would you feel comfortable right now going to a bar or a restaurant that was open 100%?' Maybe. I think it’s okay but I will prob wear my mask," Tattersall said.
"I am still pretty uneasy about it just because of the elderly and the baby at home. I think for people who are single, they have the social needs and it’s absolutely fine. It might take some time for people to get back to the norm," Stella said.
Most businesses tell FOX 26 they’ll likely remain at a limited capacity, at least for now.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has said that if a business has a mask required rule and a customer does not want to comply and is asked to leave, but refuses, officers can and will charge them with criminal trespass.