Best Buy announced Tuesday that it will require all customers to wear masks, joining other major chains including Starbucks, Costco and Apple that have instituted mask mandates for customers and employees as the number of Covid-19 cases continue to surge across the nation.
People walk by a Best Buy store in New York City.
AFP via Getty Images
“This new requirement, which starts July 15, will help protect not only our shoppers and communities, but also the tens of thousands of Best Buy employees working to serve our customers each day,” Best Buy said.
Best Buy will provide masks for customers who don’t have one, and the only exceptions will be for young children or people who are unable to wear a mask for health reasons.
The company took a stance on statewide mask mandates, saying they “are an appropriate public health response in protecting frontline retail workers and customers from the growing spread of COVID-19.”
Other major retailers like Walmart currently require shoppers to wear masks in locations with mask mandates, not at all stores, although Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said Monday that it is “on our minds.”
In response to recent altercations between customers and employees about mask rules and social distancing, the Retail Leaders Industry Association recommended to government officials that retailers and employees are responsible for using signage to make the store policies clear, not physically confronting customers.
Best Buy’s announcement comes as Covid-19 cases have continued to increase, more states have instituted mask mandates and revised reopening plans. In recent days, California, Oregon and Louisiana have all made adjustments.
Although there is no federal mask mandate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that “everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings,” with exceptions for children under two and people with certain health conditions.
3,355,457. That is the number of Americans who are known to have had the virus as of Tuesday, according to CDC data. There have been 58,858 new cases since Monday.