A growing list of business trade associations, along with small and large retailers, are encouraging all retailers to adopt a nationwide policy that guides coverings or masks that protect the health and well-being of customers, employees (associates) and partners (suppliers) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The health and safety of associates and customers is retailers’ number one priority — and wearing a face covering or mask is scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the National Retail Federation (NRF) issued in a statement yesterday (7.15.2020) .

Walmart also announced on Wednesday that Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs will start requiring masks at stores nationwide starting Monday, July 20. Other major retailers that have announced support of the requirement including Starbucks, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Apple Retail Group, Costco and others that have implemented nationwide mask mandates.

Also, the state of Alabama became the latest in a growing number of states to require the use of facial masks when in public, Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed this morning, also. About half of all states now have some statewide face mask requirement in place, the latest effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Ivey’s order, citizens must wear a mask in public when interacting within six feet of people from a different household. The order goes into effect Thursday (July 16) at 5 p.m. and stays in effect until at least July 31.

Since the onset of the pandemic, retailers — of all sizes — have been on the front lines of coming in contact with customers and suppliers, according to the NRF.

Stores are private businesses that can adopt policies permitted by law for the health and safety of their associates and their customers. Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk. Retailers are protecting the health and safety of communities they serve. Our elected leaders need to set politics aside and follow their example, said the NRF.

National Retail Federation (NRF)

Photo: GettyImages

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