The state Attorney General's office has fined three New Hampshire food establishments for violating coronavirus emergency orders.
The businesses – What a Bagel in Nashua, Simply Delicious Baking Co in Bedford, and Checkmate Pizza in Concord – will each have to pay $500 for allegedly violating mask requirements put in place through executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to violation letters sent by the attorney general this week.
The state's food service industry guidance, put in place through emergency executive order by Gov. Chris Sununu in June, requires employees in direct contact with customers to wear a face covering.
Chris Weier is the owner of What a Bagel in Nashua, which was informed "no less than five times" by local health and police departments, and the attorney general's office, to comply with guidelines, according to the letter.
"We're working back here next to a 400-degree oven half the day,” Weier said. “It's not exactly something that's comfortable, and there are some people with issues healthwise that they shouldn't be doing it. But people aren't allowed to make decisions out of their own free will anymore."
Weier said his employees began wearing face coverings after the fine was issued.
Before this week's violations, only two other fines related to emergency COVID order violations have been filed: one to a restaurant in Hudson for violating mask requirements and hosting karaoke indoors, and another to a flag football league for hosting teams from outside of New England at a local tournament.
The attorney general's office also issued warning letters this week to two businesses – Game Changer Sports Bar and Grill in Londonderry, and The Common Man’s Barn on the Pemi location in Plymouth – for violating mask guidance and hosting large indoor events with little social distancing.