DENVER – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday that gives private businesses the right to deny admittance or service to any person who tries to enter their business without a mask or face covering.
They will also be able to remove any person who fails to wear a face covering or mask as long as the person does not have a condition that keeps them from doing so, according to the order.
Polis unveiled a new state public service campaign video that encourages Coloradans to wear masks as much as possible if they are leaving home and especially if they are going to a public business or interacting with others.
He said a mask-wearing culture would be the state’s “ticket” to continue to open up more quickly until a vaccine or cure for COVID-19.
The governor said at a Thursday news conference that business owners should have the right to protect themselves and their employees against people who do not wear masks and said it would be fine for them to add “no mask” into the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” colloquialism by which many private businesses already operate.
“Here in our great state, your mask is your passport to the Colorado we love, and will play an important part in keeping yourself and those around you safe,” Polis said Thursday.
He said that men, whom studies have shown are more reluctant to wear face coverings in public than women, should not be insecure about it.
“Real weakness is being too insecure to wear a mask and then spreading coronavirus to your family when you get back home,” he said.
Polis said that codifying the language would help reinforce rules from businesses and local municipalities. Last month, a man allegedly shot a cook at a Waffle House in Aurora after he refused to wear a mask inside and was refused service.
Denver and several other local municipalities already require residents to wear face coverings or masks in certain public settings, like indoor businesses.
The order issued Thursday goes into effect immediately.