McDonald’s, which has always required masks for customers and employees who are not yet vaccinated, is the latest national chain to put the mandate back in place for everyone after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its masking guidelines last week. In the new guidelines, the CDC recommends people vaccinated for COVID-19 start wearing masks indoors again in areas with high COVID-19 cases.
McDonald’s started to require masks at its 14,000 restaurants nationwide last year. It then dropped the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals last May, following similar moves by other businesses.
The updated masking guidelines also recommend that people with underlying conditions that may make them more susceptible to COVID-19 wear masks, as well as anyone residing with vulnerable people.
Despite the new masking guidelines, most businesses including Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and Kohl’s are only requiring employees to wear masks and only strongly encouraging customers to wear them. Since retailers have been slower to make announcements following the updated CDC guidance, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has already released a statement calling the companies to make masks mandatory again for customers to protect store workers.
Apple was the first retailer to put a mask policy back in place for all consumers, vaccinated or not. However, the company’s policy is only in place at half of its 270 stores across the country.