A husband and wife who wore face coverings inside a restaurant in the US to prevent the coronavirus from infecting their Cystic Fibrosis-suffering son were kicked out after refusing to remove their masks.
Natalie Wester and her husband had visited the eatery in Texas on September 10 and had placed their meal order when they when their server delivered an ultimatum: Take your masks off or get out, according to the Washington Post.
The couple left their four-month-old son, Austin, with his maternal grandmother and went to Hang Time Sports Grill & Bar in a Dallas suburb of Texas.
However, they were told to leave because they chose to wear masks to protect Austin, who has cystic fibrosis and is immunocompromised.
The restaurant bans customers from wearing masks as part of its dress code, something owner Tom Blackmer has said is his decision as someone who purchased and has invested in a private business.
Wester said she informed the server of their son’s disease, which is genetic and can be life-threatening. The server told her they could pay their bill and leave if following the restaurant’s no-mask policy was a problem.
A couple of hours later, she published a post about the incident to Facebook.
Blackmer has agreed with the couple’s version of events but said he has the right to refuse service to customers who don’t abide by the restaurant’s dress code.
Blackmer said he implemented the ban in April because he doesn’t think masks stop COVID-19 from spreading and criminals can use them to get away with a robbery, theft or vandalism in a place where his two adult children work.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, has recommended the use of masks. They say face covering are effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19, especially where there is the potential for high numbers of coronavirus cases.
The CDC also warns that people with cystic fibrosis — which produces a thick mucus that can make moving air in and out of the lungs difficult and increase the chance of infection — could have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The incident has led to the restaurant receiving a barrage of comments and backlash on Facebook, however Blackmer said he will stand by his no-mask rule.