NEW YORK — McDonald’s says it will be requiring customers to wear face coverings when entering its U.S. restaurants as the number of new virus cases continue to surge in many states.
The move, announced Friday, will be in effect on Aug. 1.
McDonald’s Corp. joins a parade of companies issuing mask mandates for its customers in the last week or so, including Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s. Starbucks also recently issued a mask mandate for customers who visit its company-owned locations in the U.S.
Chicago-based McDonald’s said that 82 percent of its restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both employees and customers. But it said it is “important we protect the safety of all employees and customers,” according to a joint statement from McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger and Mark Salebra, chair of the National Franchise Leadership Alliance.
Erlinger and Salebra also said that in cases where customers decline to wear masks, it will “put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way.”
McDonald’s said it will delay the re-opening of its dining rooms for another 30 days. It is also adding protective panels in the back and front of restaurants to help with social distancing.
Story by Anne D’Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer