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Local hotel removes mask policy for hotel guests and employees

The hotel made the change after new CDC guidelines
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Posted at 10:40 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 23:17:05-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A local hotel is removing its mask policy for hotel guests and employees.

Joe Collier, President of Mainsail Lodging and Development, is the developer of the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa.

On Monday, he stated hotel guests and employees are no longer required to wear a mask.

"At this point in time, we hope that people are vaccinated and hope they're taking advantage of that, but we're not going to be inquiring if someone is vaccinated or not. If they're comfortable wearing a mask, please, by all means, wear a mask. We'll provide masks for them, same with our staff," said Joe Collier, President of Mainsail Lodging and Development.

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The change comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines regarding masks last week.

The CDC stated that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most settings.

Many businesses moved to an honor system stating people who are not vaccinated should still wear a face covering.

Collier said the pandemic significantly impacted occupancy at the start of the pandemic. Hotel occupancy went from 95% to 6% in a matter of days in March 2020.

He said business has been increasing since the Super Bowl.

"Our hotels, we do a lot of staycations. We do a lot of weddings. We do a lot of leisure activity and that has picked up over the last year. It ramped up fairly quickly," Collier said.

Collier said despite the mask policy change, the hotel will continue increased sanitation efforts in the hotel rooms.

"We're going to stay super clean. I like some of the new standards we've come up with," said Collier. "I know there have been a lot of shifting sands, a lot of different guidelines, a lot of people's attitudes about it, but now we're at the point now where we're seeing the statistics and we're moving away from some of these shutdowns."