Conflicting mask proclamations in Langley clarified

Langley officials don’t expect restaurant patrons to slurp oysters under surgical masks, which may come as a relief to people confused by seemingly contradictory proclamations.

Recently, the city developed a proclamation giving restaurants and retailers the OK to expand outdoors.

But another proclamation declared a few weeks earlier requires visitors to the downtown area to wear masks.

This appears to be contrary to the main purpose for visiting a restaurant.

Fortunately, the mayor is giving special permission to cast off those facial binds while eating.

Mayor Tim Callison said in an email that if the restaurants are operating under the Phase II guidelines, the included limitations regarding table size and distancing should provide a setting where masks are not required while people are eating.

He added that the mask proclamation may be modified to protect people in a direct interchange, like in retail sales, or while people are walking around the core business zone. This has been identified as being from Fourth Street to the waterfront, including Seawall Park, and Park Avenue to Wharf Street.

The newest proclamation, issued May 26, calls for sidewalk sales, meaning retail sales or food service conducted within parking stalls located adjacent to a business. Retailers can access the extra space for displaying merchandise and restaurants can use it to expand seating.

Sidewalk sales may be conducted between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for retailers and between 11 a.m and 9 p.m. for restaurants.

Streets will be open to traffic. Barriers will be in place to separate the sales from traffic.

According to the proclamation, the sales must leave an unobstructed pedestrian pathway of at least six feet in width. No sales shall obstruct a building’s entrance, exit, driveway access or crosswalk.

Sidewalk sales may occur on private property within the core business zone, but a valid business license is needed.

There are no application fees required for any business owner participating in the outdoor expansion.