Michigan bar lifts mask mandate for some patrons, asks guests to voluntarily show vaccination card

A Garden City bar said it will allow vaccinated patrons to be unmasked if they show their COVID-19 vaccination card.

The Sports Venue Bar and Grill said that customers who voluntarily show their card will get a wristband and will be allowed to walk around the bar without a mask. Those who do not show a card will be asked to wear a mask when not seated. All employees will continue to wear masks.

"We someone walking around, we obviously look at the wrist, and if they don't have a wristband on, we politely ask them to put their mask on, and if they choose not to do that, we don't serve them and they have to leave," owner Laurie Viviano said.

Michigan updated its mask mandate late last week to allow fully vaccinated people to be indoors unmasked.

More: Michigan health director answers questions about eased mask mandate

While businesses cannot force someone to show their vaccine card, they can ask that a person shows it. Businesses can also decide to follow the state's change or require all people, including vaccinated people, to continue to wear masks.

"We feel that because so many people want to be mask-free that if we said no to that, we would have more problems if we said, ‘No, we’re gonna keep masks on the entire time,'" Viviano said.

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Both vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons who were at the bar Saturday said they were OK with following the bar's mask requirement. The bar is asking people to comply because the virus forced them to close several times, and they don't want to have to do that again.