MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- Just a day after the City of Mobile said they cannot order Downtown Mobile businesses closed on Fat Tuesday, FOX10 News is asking the only person who can if he is going to act.
Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold told FOX10 News during an exclusive interview that he will not issue a health order and businesses will stay open on Fat Tuesday.
“The City of Mobile has said it is your decision to shut down the bars for Fat Tuesday. Are you going to do that,” FOX10 News Reporter Tyler Fingert asked.
“For us to take action against entities that haven’t done anything nothing at this time, it would be pretty drastic,” Dr. Eichold said.
In an effort to keep people apart on Fat Tuesday, the city is closing more than a dozen streets in the entertainment area.
While county Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold is not going to stop people from going downtown, he is urging personal responsibility and hopes businesses help keep people safe.
“Hopefully during Mardi Gras, the bars, restaurants and facilities will tell their customers ‘I’m sorry if you don’t have a mask no service’,” he said.
Heroes Sports Bar on Dauphin Street is busy preparing. They are not sure what to expect in terms of crowds, but they said customers can expect a safe environment.
“We’re going to adhere to the same protocols we have from day one,” said David Rasp, Owner of Heroes. “I do think it is a great idea. I think it’s wonderful some people are going to get to come out and enjoy the day.”
Dealing with Mardi Gras festivities is a tale of two cities.
In less than 36 hours, New Orleans bars will close for five days in an effort to curb any potential spread and encourage people to stay home.
Here in Mobile, the health department is going a different route.
“Everyone from the retailers to the customers all want to have a safe environment and no one really wants to take unnecessary risk so I think it’s really an opportunity to be very safe,” Dr. Eichold said.
Dr. Eichold said he does not anticipate changing his mind, but he does say he will not be down here on Fat Tuesday.