Several of America's largest retailers have announced that they will begin requiring all customers to wear masks or face coverings when entering their stores.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face-covering in public and social distance.
In a move announced on Thursday, the company that owns Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are requesting customers to wear masks inside their stores.
These retailers say they'll require masks, in line with CDC guidance:
Starting Tuesday, July 21, Albertsons says it will require customers at all of its locations to wear face coverings when shopping, for their protection and for that of the workers.
“We appreciate everyone’s diligence, cooperation, and support as we all work together to get through these difficult times as safely as possible,” wrote the chain in an announcement.
Starting July 27, all customers must wear a mask to enter their grocery store, the company announced on their website.
The clothing store giant announced that customers at any of their American Eagle and Aerie stores will need to wear a mask. If you don't have a face covering, the company said that one would be provided for you.
Back in May when the tech company reopened its stores, the company announced that all customers must wear a mask. If you don't have a mask, Apple will provide you with one.
Best Buy announced on Tuesday, July 14, that it would require all customers to wear a face-covering in its stores starting July 15.
The company said it will provide a face covering if a customer doesn’t have one, and small children and those unable to wear one for health reasons may enter without one.
“Any customer who has a concern about wearing a mask will be able to shop Best Buy via our website and app and choose home delivery or contactless curbside pickup, which remains in place at all our stores,” wrote Best Buy.
BJ's Wholesale Club
Anyone who enters a BJ’s location must wear a face covering, the company said on their website.
All employees and customers must wear a mask while inside its restaurants, the company said on their website.
Costco was one of the first major retailers to require customers to wear face coverings. Its policy went into effect on May 4.
Costco’s requirement doesn’t apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a face-covering due to a medical condition.
“We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances, we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” wrote the company. “This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face-covering protects not just the wearer, but others too.”
On Thursday, July 16, CVS announced that it would begin requiring all customers to wear face coverings when entering any of its stores starting Monday, July 20.
CVS says it would not be asking its employees to enforce the requirement. The company is asking customers to help protect themselves and those around them by listening to experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering.
"Since the pandemic began, we've done everything we can to keep people safe and healthy,” said CVS COO Jon Roberts. “This includes requiring that store employees wear face coverings and encouraging our customers to do so as well. In any community with state or local laws mandating the use of face coverings, we've made that very clear through signage and other reminders.
Dollar Tree’s policy, as of July 8, requires all customers, employees, and vendors to wear a cloth face covering when inside its stores.
The parent company of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Janie and Jack said Monday that it would require masks in all of its store locations.
"Given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the US and Canada, we want to do everything we can to help stop the spread of the virus. That’s why we are adjusting our current policy and requiring all customers to wear masks in all of our North America Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Janie and Jack stores, effective August 1," the company said in a statement.
The stores will also offer disposable masks to guests who enter the store without one.
The grocery chain announced that starting July 3 that all customers must wear a mask.
Beginning July 22, masks or facial coverings will be required inside Home Depot locations. In their online post, Home Depot says small children and those with a valid medical condition will be exempt from the requirement.
Home Depot will also promote physical distancing in the store with signage, PA announcements, and floor markings.
On Wednesday, July 15, Kohl's said it would begin requiring masks in all its stores beginning on Monday, July 20. In the retailer's statement, it said that associates would be stationed at entrances to remind customers about the policy.
"As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, face-covering mandates have grown to apply to approximately 70% of our store base, therefore we’ve made the decision to take a consistent approach across our entire store fleet. Beginning Monday, July 20, we will require all customers to wear face-covering while shopping in our stores," Kohl's wrote on its website.
On Wednesday, July 15, Kroger tweeted that it would also be adopting a mask policy at its stores, beginning July 22.
"With the increase in #COVID19 cases across the country, we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus," Kroger said in its release. "Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask, joining our associates who continue to wear masks."
Beginning July 20, all Lowe's stores will require customers to wear masks or facial coverings. Employees have been required to wear masks since May.
Beginning July 22, all Macy's stores will require customers to wear a mask. If you don't have one, the company said they will provide masks to customers.
Beginning Aug. 1, America's largest restaurant chain will require all customers to wear masks in it's more than 14,000 locations, according to USA Today. The news outlet also reports that McDonald's employees will be trained to respond to policy infractions in a "friendly" way.
A short message on the Meijer website explains that all customers must wear a face mask or cover inside any Meijer store or Meijer express beginning July 20.
The home improvement chain now requires all employees and guests to wear masks or face coverings while in stores, according to a statement on its website. The retailer is making masks available to purchase for those who do not have one.
The health food grocery chain said on their website that they want to "help flatten the curve," so masks are required by everyone who enters the store.
In a statement on July 15, the restaurant chain began immediately requiring masks for any guests visiting their bakeries and cafes. Masks are not required when guests are seated or when they are eating and drinking.
Media outlets also report that Petco's mask requirement also went into effect on July 20.
Beginning August 1, the gym said that everyone must wear a mask at all times inside their facilities.
Publix announced Thursday, July 16, that it will require customers to wear face coverings while shopping in its stores starting July 21.
“With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to grow and current CDC guidance indicating face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19, we believe requiring face coverings in our stores is another way we can do our part to help protect our communities,” said Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous.
Signs announcing the new requirement will be posted at store entrances, and in-store announcements will be made. The requirement will not apply to young children and those with medical conditions who are not able to wear face coverings.
The parent company of southern-based chains Winn-Dixie, BI-LO, and Harveys Supermarkets initially balked at instituting masks requirements at their stores, saying in a statement to USA Today on Sunday that it did not plan to require face coverings. But on Monday, the company said its position had "evolved" after listening to customer feedback.
"This unprecedented period requires a willingness to be adaptable and flexible to ever-changing circumstances, and we will continue to adjust as needed over time," Joe Caldwell, Southeastern Grocer's director of corporate communications said in a statement.
The new policy will go into effect on July 27.
On July 15, Starbucks began requiring customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned cafes in the U.S.
“At select locations where a local government mandate is not in place, customers that may not be wearing a facial covering will have various options to order their Starbucks, including ordering at the drive-thru, curbside pickup through the Starbucks app or placing an order for delivery through Starbucks Delivers,” wrote the coffee company.
On Thursday, July 16, Target announced that it will require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of its stores starting Aug. 1. Though, children and those with underlying medical conditions are exempt.
"This builds on the more than 80% of our stores that already require guests to wear face coverings due to local and state regulations," wrote Target in a statement. "Given the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the role masks play in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, our store team members also already wear masks when they come to work, which we provide for them."
To help its customers, Target says it will be providing disposable masks at store entrances to guests who don't have one. It will also be adding signage, overhead audio reminders, and stationing team members at entrances to remind guests to wear masks.
TJX — TJ Maxx, Marshall's and HomeGoods
According to a statement on its website, the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshall's HomeGoods and Home Sense say they will begin requiring all customers to wear masks or face coverings beginning July 30. The company has also temporarily closed dressing rooms in all of its stores and has enacted enhanced cleaning measures for employees.
Trader Joe’s policy stops short of a requirement, but says, “We request all customers wear a face covering while shopping in our stores.”
Verizon says on its website that its “customers are required to wear cloth face coverings.”
On their website, Walgreens said face coverings are required by every customer.
On Wednesday, July 15, Walmart and Sam’s Club announced that they will require customers and members to wear face coverings in their stores and clubs starting July 20. Hours later, Kroger said it would be instituting mask requirements at all locations beginning July 22.
In Walmart's release, the company said that about 65% of its 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings.
Company leaders say the mandate will bring consistency across stores and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the United States.
At Sam’s Club, complimentary masks will be provided if members don’t have one, or members can purchase masks in the club.
Click here to learn more from the CDC about wearing face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Whole Foods says it’s “requesting” that all of its customers wear masks while shopping in its stores to protect the health and safety of its workers and communities.
The company will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who don’t have their own face coverings.
Effective Friday, WinCo says all customers must wear a mask while shopping. Employees have been wearing masks since June 29, the company said. And if you have a valid medical exemption, you are asked to inform an employee, while also conducting social distancing, the company said.