The owner of an Elgin, Texas, bar has posted a notice barring any customers wearing masks.

“Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe,” the notice outside the Liberty Tree Tavern reads, according to a local NBC affiliate.

The city, which had just more than 10,000 residents in 2018, has recorded 52 cases of the coronavirus during the pandemic.


The establishment’s co-owner Kevin Smith told the station the notice was meant as a “push back” against “the snitches and the contact tracers out there,” saying “this is still a rural county.”

Smith told the outlet he was continuing to abide by social distancing guidelines. The notice disallowing masks says the bar will be at 25 percent occupancy and asks parties to keep six feet apart.

“I think that’s a risk. I think that’s foolish,” Ross Owens, a resident of Elgin, told the outlet. “They’re taking chances they don’t need to take, especially if they’re in public service.”

Charles Chamberlain, who told the affiliate he has been awaiting the reopening, said the notice will not deter him.

“I’m a stage 4 cancer survivor. It’s just a choice. He just put that up there to let people know if they aren’t feeling good, then they maybe shouldn’t come,” Chamberlain said. “Everybody is keeping safe distances, they aren’t bunching up.”

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced bars in the Lone Star State would be allowed to reopen last Friday, also expanding the amount of people allowed inside restaurants from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity.

The state reported its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases May 17, the Sunday before the bar reopened, but the Department of State Health Services said a large number of those cases were the result of targeted testing of meat plant workers in Randall and Potter counties.

The number of new cases in Texas has trended down over the past several days, with 589 reported Tuesday.