Against CDC Guidelines, Texas Bar Refuses To Let Patrons Wearing Masks In

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, information from researchers has changed. The CDC has come around to the point of recommending mask-wearing as a way to slow down the spread of a disease that people can share around without ever showing any symptoms.

While many retailers around the nation including Costco have set policies requiring customers to wear masks while in the store, one bar in Texas has decided to go the other way and refuse entry to people wearing masks, as KXAN reported.

If you're looking to wet your whistle at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Elgin, Texas, leave your face mask at home.

Facebook | Brettany Boozer

Since reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown, a sign has gone up at the tavern informing would-be patrons that they're not allowing masks inside.

"Due to our concern for our customers, if they FEEL (not think), that they need to wear a mask, they should stay home until they FEEL that it’s safe to be in public without one," the sign reads. "Sorry, No Mask Allowed."

The bar's owners say that they are otherwise following the state's guidelines.


They are limiting the bar's capacity to 25%, per Governor Greg Abbott's requirements, and they're following social distancing, but they don't want masks inside.

"It is more of a push back — the snitches, and the contact tracers out there," co-owner Kevin Smith told KXAN. "This is still a rural county."

Locals in Elgin are split on the Liberty Tree's policy.

Facebook | Liberty Tree Tavern

One local told KXAN "I think that’s a risk. I think that’s foolish. They’re taking chances they don’t need to take, especially if they’re in public service."

Another, who identified himself as a cancer survivor, told the Austin American-Statesman, "This quarantine... that’s not living, that’s existing. Going to the bar, going to the lake, going swimming with your friends, barbecuing, fishing — that’s living. You should have a choice of what you want to do. If I get it, I get it. If I do, I’ll deal with that. You can’t live forever."

Elgin has a population of about 10,000, making it the largest in Bastrop County.

As the Statesman reported, the city has seen the most COVID-19 cases in the county, 53 so far, with one death. Statewide, Texas has recorded 59,776 cases and 1,601 deaths, according to the latest data.

h/t: KXAN, Austin American-Statesman