LEWISTON — This is the first weekend that restaurants in three Maine counties can fully reopen.

The Nyberg siblings, from left, Mike, Karen and John, toast being able to go to one of their favorite restaurants in the Lewiston-Auburn area — Gritty’s — on the first day patrons were allowed to dine at local eateries in Androscoggin County on June 1. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Lately, temperatures have been climbing, which means wearing masks and other face coverings might not be comfortable, particularly when dining outside.

While CDC guidelines call for restaurant employees to wear face coverings both inside and outside, it’s up to the customer whether or not to wear a face covering when dining.

That’s why Jaclyn Bergmann, general manager at Gritty McDuffs in Auburn, says she’s confident that as temperatures climb, she’ll start seeing more people leaving their face coverings at home.

“I think when it comes down to it, people start thinking about the comfort more than you know, the guidelines,” Bergmann said.

She says it’s important that customers stay informed to their health expectations, as some restaurants may operate a little differently.

“Whether it’s wearing a mask or hand-sanitizing or keeping your physical barriers or keeping your mask on when you use the restroom,” Bergmann said.

Robin Berube, co-owner at The Pit Bar and Grill in Lewiston, says it’s not necessarily the heat that’s the deciding factor for whether or not a customer decides to wear a mask when dining in or outside.

“The customers that are comfortable coming in without a mask, they’re the ones that are still going to come out, whether it’s hot weather or not,” Berube said.

At The Pit, Berube said she puts on a new face mask every day. While there is no requirement for their employees to have a new one each day, she says they’re conscious and change them often.


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