TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Local businesses are responding after Florida state officials announced changes to Covid-19 masking guidance.

Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared his team’s push back on what he says is unscientific corporate masking issuing new direction for employees to take off their masks. A tampa business owner is speaking for herself.

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“As a business owner, I want to keep my customers safe and I want to keep my employees safe,” said Michelle Faedo, Owner of Michelle Faedo’s Tampeño Cuisine in downtown Tampa.

The State of Florida announced those significant changes during a public health update Thursday.

“If you’re force-masking employees for the appearance of safety, that is not a sufficient justification,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with the support of State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo. “You look at a lot of hotels, resorts, restaurants – they will require these employees to wear masks even though hundreds of people in the establishment will not be wearing masks.”

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“They’re good here. We’re going to keep them safe,” responded Tampa restaurant owner Michelle Faedo who has her staff masked up. She’s been serving up Tampa’s Cuban cuisine for more than two decades now.

“Now my customers, if they choose not to wear it or if they want to come in without their masks, it’s on them. I really don’t mind but we are going to keep it safe in the back,” she said Tuesday.

Against CDC guidance, Florida’s new masking guidance attributes “A lack of strong evidence that masks reduce the transmission of respiratory illness.” But Faedo isn’t convinced just yet.

“We just got allowed to be maskless this Monday so I can’t just say ‘hey!’, because we never know. Next week might be mask on,” she said. “We are just glad to do what we have to do for our community and our city and our family.”

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For more information about Florida’s new guidance, click here.