MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Walmart and Starbucks are joining the growing list of companies requiring that all customers wear masks. The Walmart requirement will go into effect on Monday and Starbucks went into effect Wednesday.
There’s currently no federal mandate on masks, however, the CDC recommends wearing a face covering in public to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Walmart says roughly 65 percent of its 5,000-plus stores, including Sam’s Club locations, are in areas that have government mandates on face coverings.
Walmart said it will enforce the new policy by stationing “health ambassadors” near the entrance to remind shoppers of the requirement. “Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers,” the company said. “The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirt, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”
Similarly, at Sam’s Clubs locations, associates at store entrances will remind customers of the face mask requirement. Complimentary masks will be provided if shoppers don’t have one.
Starbucks, which has 9,000 US stores, says for those who will not wear a mask, they can go through the drive-thru, get curbside pickup or delivery.
Other major national chains have also started requiring customers to wear masks recently including Best Buy and Costco.
Most major retailers and grocers have hesitated to enact their own mask mandates for customers during the pandemic, partly over fears of antagonizing shoppers who refuse to wear them. Retailers have said they are reluctant to put their employees in the position of enforcing mask requirements but that sentiment is changing as cases continue to climb in much of the country and many cities and states reimpose restrictions to contain new outbreaks.