More stores are asking customers to wear masks

T&T now requires masks while inside stores, while Starbucks is encouraging customers to don masks at reopened cafes


More businesses are asking customers to wear masks and face coverings – either as a request or as a requirement – as social distancing measures slowly begin to lift in Ontario.

Today, Starbucks announced that as they aim to have 65 per cent of stores open again this week, they are requesting that all customers wear a face covering.

For employees, masks – along with daily temperature checks – will be mandatory.

And as of today, T&T has gone one step further and made mask-wearing mandatory for customers at all of their stores. “We believe it is the most effective way of preventing the spread of germs, and by wearing a mask you will help protect yourself and our colleagues,” CEO Tina Lee said in a statement.

Starbucks and T&T are joining a number of other retailers who have rolled out policies around mask use.

  • Longo’s: The Ontario grocery chain announced last Monday that all shoppers would be required to wear masks in the store. “Please bring one with you to keep everyone safe,” the company wrote on its site, adding that those who need masks can speak to staff at the store entrance.
  • Whole Foods: The Amazon-owned upscale health grocer asked last week that customers wear masks while shopping. “Whole Foods Market will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering,” the company said in a statement.
  • Independent grocery stores: Sunfood in Markham and Field Fresh in Scarborough were among the first to mandate masks at the beginning of April – a move that provoked some public complaints at the time, given that officials had not yet begun encouraging widespread mask use and PPE was in short supply. Nations followed suit by making masks mandatory in its stores on April 10.

Face masks are now an everyday sight in Toronto, with public health officials encouraging widespread mask use as a way to precent those with COVID-19 from transmitting the virus to those around them.

Countless local businesses have begun manufacturing masks to meet demand, and Mayor John Tory has said that as Toronto businesses reopen, the city may impose a mandate on mask use in certain settings, such as stores, restaurants and transit.

@nataliamanzocco

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