Despite no mandate, some St. Petersburg businesses still asking customers to wear masks


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – At Lida’s Jungle in downtown St. Petersburg, you’ll find all sorts of house and shade plants. You’ll also find customers wearing masks.

Even after the COVID-19 numbers started falling, owner Sarah Reyes was a bit weary. Now that the numbers are climbing again, she feels like she made the right decision — not removing the mask sign from her front door.

Sarah Reyes, owner of Lida’s Jungle, cites safety as the reason she asks customers to mask up.

“The bottom line is the safety,” said Reyes. “I think with the new variant coming in, we just weren’t 100-percent sure how it was going to go. “

Employee Janae Landers agrees with the policy. She says you never know who is going to come through the front door of any business. Are they vaccinated? Where have they been? Are they a COVID-19 carrier?

“It still is a choice whether you’re vaccinated or not. Is it the end all be all? I don’t really care if you’re vaccinated or not,” said Landers. “I still feel like we can all do our part to help “

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman met with staff members on Thursday morning, to talk about the rising COVID-19 numbers and what the city’s next move would be.

In a recent visit to the city, Governor Ron Desantis said a statewide mask mandate was not on the horizon.

“I get a little bit frustrated when I see some of these jurisdictions saying, even if you’re healthy and vaccinated you must wear a mask,” said Gov. Desantis. “Because we’re seeing increased cases. “

Tombolo book store on 1st Avenue South also asks non-vaccinated customers to wear masks.

But at the Tombolo book store on 1st Avenue South, customers are also asked to wear masks if they are not vaccinated. Amanda Hurley is the store’s children’s book buyer.

“Staff, we are staying masked,” said Hurley. “Just to keep ourselves safe and also to make people feel safe when they come into the store.”

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