SALEM, MA — An award-winning bookstore on the Pedestrian Mall is locking its doors on weekends to those who don’t have an appointment due to what it says is a “lack of compliance with mask and hand-sanitizing requirements” associated with the coronavirus health crisis.
Wicked Books, the independent book store on Essex Way, posted on its website that it will be open “by appointment only” during October on Saturdays and Sundays. The store remains open to the public on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The store said the decision to lock up on weekend days that draw large crowds of visitors to Halloween’s unofficial hometown was made because unmasked browsers unwilling to use hand sanitizer were “putting the health of our staff, patrons and community at risk.”
Masks are required in all public locations — both indoors and outdoors — in Salem as part of its mandatory mask zone downtown.
The store reopened to the public from the coronavirus shutdown on June 8. A GoFundMe page was launched during the pandemic as well to help the independent book store get through the shutdown and extended stretch of reduced capacity.
It was another busy weekend in the city as officials tried to balance business interests with public safety during the pandemic. Streets were closed on Saturday and the Museum Place Garage filled up early on both days.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said last week that anyone who does not have lodging booked in advance, as well as restaurant reservations and tickets purchased to attractions, should consider delaying their Halloween trip to Salem to next year.
Due to lack of compliance with mask and hand sanitizing requirements, putting the health of our staff, patrons and community at risk, we are now open on weekends by appointment only during October. Call 978-594-1938. pic.twitter.com/EQQQgreyUf
— Wicked Good Books (@WickedBooks) October 11, 2020
This article originally appeared on the Salem Patch