McDonald’s customers must wear masks at all U.S. restaurants starting Aug. 1

Target and Gap brand stores, which include Old Navy and Banana Republic, also will start requiring masks Aug. 1.

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A sign is displayed outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Pittsburgh.

McDonald’s is the latest business to announce it will mandate masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases spike.

AP

Joining retailers attempting to control the coronavirus, McDonald’s said Friday it will require in-store customers to wear face masks at all of its 14,000 retailers across the country. But the Chicago-based company won’t eject those who refuse to comply.

McDonald said the nationwide mask mandate will take effect Aug. 1. Customers without a mask will be offered one. If they don’t accept it, their order will be expedited and they will be directed to a pickup location safely distant from others.

Or, in the words of a joint statement from McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger and Mark Salebra, chair of the National Franchise Leadership Alliance, “we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way. Additionally, we will provide training for our restaurant staff to ensure they are prepared to address this new policy in a friendly and positive way.”

Starbucks, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Publix, Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot are among the major retailers now requiring masks nationwide. Target, Old Navy and Banana Republic also will start requiring masks Aug. 1.

“While nearly 82% of our restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both crew and customers today, it’s important we protect the safety of all employees and customers,” the joint statement said.

The order does not apply to drive-thru service. Most McDonalds are open for drive-thru, deliveries and carryouts, but with dining rooms that are closed. The company said it will pause reopening dining rooms for the next 30 days and add protective panels to better separate employees from customers and one another.

Contributing: USA Today

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