NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Friday, Metro’s capacity restrictions and mask mandate were lifted. Fully vaccinated people in Metro and Davidson County no longer have to wear masks.
“I don’t like it,” said Rev. Bruce Maxwell, Pastor of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
While the city has revoked its mask mandate, businesses, churches, and agencies still have a choice of whether or not to require them.
Maxwell pastors of one of Nashville’s largest congregations. He has decided the church will keep its full COVID-19 precautions in place for the foreseeable future.
“There have been several of our members who have passed away from Coronavirus. I lost a brother to the virus back in January,” Maxwell explained. “We are looking at everything from a very critical point of view.”
Pastor Maxwell and his team will begin a phased-in approach to in-person services on June 6. Members will have to reserve their spot through an online reservation system and follow strict protocols to attend service.
“They will be asked to wear masks and social distance. We’re only entering the facility, beginning out, with 250 people that will be distanced,” Maxwell explained.
Doctors are also warning the importance of those unvaccinated to still wear a mask to protect others against the virus.
Officials say they’re pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last several months, but there is still a long way to go before things are fully back to normal.
“Being able to take your mask off is kind of a reward for your getting vaccinated. And I would hope that that motivates some people who’ve been hanging back to come on in, the water’s fine,” Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. William Schaffner said.
The same goes for places like government buildings and grocery stores. Kroger will continue to require masks in stores. Publix is also still under a mask mandate, but says there is potential for changes. And, if you plan to take a summer vacation by air, you’ll have to pack your mask.
“Here at BNA, nothing has changed,” said Kym Gerlock, spokesperson for the Nashville airport. “We’re under a federal mandate for masks. So, in the terminal, in commercial aircraft, and on our public shuttle buses masks are still required.”
The airport will provide face coverings at various checkpoints. TSA says those measures will stay in place until September.