Tourists making plans for Branson are switching them up to The Lake of the Ozarks, after city leaders there put in a new mask ordinance, thus making the Lake area one of the few spots in Missouri without those requirements.

In a decision criticized by many including comedian Yakov Smirnoff, town leaders in Branson MO have decided to require face coverings in most public places to slow a rapidly increasing Covid-19 outbreak in the popular tourist community.

Smirnoff, who runs a theatre in Branson, told aldermen the mask ordinance would make his adopted home more like his native land, Russia.

Hotel and Lodging officials across the four-county region tell KRMS they have seen an uptick in registrations for rooms on a weekly basis since Springfield, Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City initiated their mask and bar closing rules.

As of today, there are no requirements prohibiting guest and tourists from enjoying the lake area.

No health officials have issued any mask requirements nor are their strict rules for social distancing.