McDonald’s to require masks at all US restaurant locations

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s said it will be requiring customers to wear face coverings when entering its United States (US) restaurants as the number of new COVID-19 cases continue to surge in many states.

The move, announced on Friday, will be in effect on August 1.

McDonald’s Corp joins a parade of companies issuing mask mandates for its customers in the last week or so, including Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s. Starbucks also recently issued a mask mandate for customers who visit its company-owned locations in the US.

Chicago-based McDonald’s said that 82 per cent of its restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both employees and customers. But it said it is “important we protect the safety of all employees and customers”, according to a joint statement from McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger and Chair of the National Franchise Leadership Alliance Mark Salebra.

Erlinger and Salebra also said that in cases where customers decline to wear masks, it will “put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way”.

McDonald’s said it will delay the re-opening of its dining rooms for another 30 days. It is also adding protective panels in the back and front of restaurants to help with social distancing.

A McDonald’s sign is displayed outside the fast food restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois. PHOTO: AP