Now that COVID restrictions are lifted, food establishments are allowed to set their own safety requirements. Many are erring on the side of caution by imposing a No Mask/No Laugh or Talk rule for their patrons.
We spoke to Barny Rubbleford, night manager at the Oakdale 99 Restaurant who explained the decision: "The CDC says vaccinated people don't need masks, but how do you know if they're telling the truth?!! I mean, people have been eyeballin' each other for 16 months and now all of a sudden they're going to trust each other? I don't think so. We figured the best thing we could do was to set a policy we can enforce. Anyone caught talking or laughing without a mask will be asked to leave immediately, no exceptions!
Asked when that No Talk, No Laugh rule might be lifted, Rubbleford says he has "no idea".
We also asked if smiling would be allowed for people not wearing masks and found that may be a gray area. "Sure you can smile, but if you do, you should know that smiling raises a warning flag to us and you'll then be closely monitored for a time. That smile better not turn into something more. That's all i can tell you."