Kroger, Walmart Will Require Customers to Wear Masks at Their Stores
A growing list of retailers have announced the policy as COVID rages
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, and Kroger, its largest supermarket chain, will require customers to put on a mask or face covering before shopping in their stores. The giant retailers separately announced the new policies on Wednesday, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in the many states and raise the risk of more government-mandated shutdowns. The companies join a growing list of retailers that require masks, including Apple, Best Buy, Costco and Starbucks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies have recommended face coverings as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially when physical distancing isn’t possible. Face coverings can also limit the spread by people who do not have symptoms, yet can spread the virus to other people.
Many retailers, including Walmart and Kroger, have dealt with a patchwork approach of state and local rules about face coverings. Without a national mandate, their employees have often had to police mask-wearing policies — whether their own policy or a local government mandate.
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