McDonald’s to Require Face Masks for Patrons

Customers who are unable or unwilling to comply will be served “in a friendly, expedited way.”

July 27, 2020

CHICAGO—McDonald’s Friday joined a growing number of U.S. companies to adopt policies requiring customers to wear face coverings just like employees to help slow the spread of COVID-19. McDonald’s said its new policy takes effect August 1.

The fast-food chain also said it has put a temporary halt to reopening additional U.S. dining rooms for at least another 30 days amid rising case of coronavirus. Earlier this month, McDonald’s said it wouldn’t open additional dining rooms until August after restarting limited dine-in service in about 2,000 restaurants in May.

“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 company said.

McDonald’s will train employees how to respond to customers who refuse or are unable to don a face covering. The goal in these situations is to “take care of them in a friendly, expedited way,” the company said. The chain’s restaurants plan to direct unmasked customers to a separate pickup area away from other customers, getting them in and out of the restaurant as quickly as possible, the Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s a similar approach to those being taken by CVS, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart and other U.S. retailers, who are seeking to minimize conflicts while protecting staff and other shoppers.

CVS told CNN Business that it will “ask for [customers’] cooperation,” and if customers still refuse to wear a face covering, stores will “expedite their transaction and provide them with other options for their future needs,” including drive-thru service or delivery. Lowe’s is offering free face masks to customers, and a representative told CNN, “We will not ask our associates to put their safety at risk by confronting customers about wearing masks.”

According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 76% of Americans support businesses enforcing their own mask policies.

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