“Any customer who has a concern about wearing a mask will be able to shop Best Buy via our website and app and choose home delivery or contactless curbside pickup,” the company said.
The rule, which takes effect on Wednesday (July 15), is being implemented to “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,” the company said.
Best Buy is not the first retailer to mandate face coverings. Costco and Starbucks informed customers this week of the mandate, as businesses make an effort to keep patrons and staff safe as coronavirus cases spike in many parts of the country, The Journal reported.
In addition, major companies including pharmacies and big-box retailers have required masks in places where state or local government rules mandate them. Some of the stores have signs on entrances prohibiting shoppers from entering without a mask, while others have simply requested that customers do so.
Health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said there is evidence that face masks protect the spread of the virus.
The requirement has spawned political debate and hostility as retail workers enforce mask rules as some customers have refused.
Johns Hopkins University reports that more than 135,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and that the number of new cases is on the rise.
On Monday (July 13), California Gov. Gavin Newsom closed indoor services in 30 counties at restaurants, pubs, cultural venues and movie theaters. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo postponed meals served in dining rooms out of what he called “an abundance of caution and after seeing other states’ experiences with indoor dining.”
Target store workers are asking shoppers to wear masks and are offering them for sale at the entrance. Walmart employees must wear masks, while shoppers are encouraged to do so.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told Bloomberg on Monday (July 13) that requiring masks in places without government mandates is “obviously something that’s on our minds.”