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St. Augustine museum requires visitors to wear face masks

The Ximenez-Fatio Boarding House Museum provides masks with the purchase of a tour.

In St. Augustine, like in many places, the majority of people are not wearing face masks.

One attraction in Downtown St. Augustine,  the historic Ximenez Fatio Boarding House Museum, now requires its visitors to wear face masks.

Christina and Roger Smith are the museum's managers. 

"We have it so there’s notification before you even come through the gate that masks are required," Christina said. "But masks are also supplied with the purchase of a tour."

Most visitors have accepted the requirement.

"We’ve seen a few people turn away but not very many," Christina Smith said.

Just a few blocks away on busy St. George Street, most businesses have re-opened. And the majority of people are not wearing masks. Many are not social distancing either. Although Friday afternoon, there were a few more people donning the face coverings.

"We don’t venture down there because of that. Because people are walking on St. George Street without masks," Christina Smith said.

"It does concern us," Roger Smith said.

They know what COVID-19 is like because Christina had it and recovered from it.

The Smiths have noticed people seem to carry masks with them and wear them when they are inside buildings. 

"They’re just not wearing them when they’re out of the store," Roger Smith said.

The Smiths said they can require masks because the museum is private property. 

They've also promised the property owners that "if someone contracts COVID-19, we are not going to be on their radar for saying, 'that’s where I think I got it.'  That’s our whole approach," Roger Smith said.

The Smiths have said if someone doesn’t want to come to the museum because of the face mask requirement, then they will see those customers when this is all over. 

For more information about the Ximenez-Fatio Boarding House Museum, click here.

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