Days after announcing customers are required to wear face masks while shopping in their stores, major U.S. retailers appear to be showing leniency in how the rules are enforced.
Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walgreens and CVS had initially required shoppers to wear masks but now in the hope of avoiding confrontations between angry customers and employees it appears to be little more than a suggestion, rather than a legally enforceable instruction.
Having retailers take on the role of the ‘mask police’ puts them in an uncomfortable position at a time when many shops are in no position financially to refuse business.
Major retailers brought in rules requiring masks to be worn by customers including Walmart, pictured, but some companies are saying there is little they can do if people ignore the request
Because there is no requirement federally or legally across the country to wear a mask, and with many states having been lax in creating policies insisting residents wear them in shops, retailers are on their own when it comes to enforcing the policy.
As the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise in many states, there is concern over how best to protect customers and workers from infecting one another.
‘Many retailers feel like they have to act since some governors haven’t,’ said Melissa Murdock, spokesperson for the Retail Industry Leaders Association to CNN. The group has been lobbying governors to require masks be worn in all 50 states but in the meantime, it will fall to individual stores to implement their policy.