Best Buy is instituting a new company policy requiring all customers to wear face masks in the store, regardless of the state or local ordinances. According to a report by CBS News, the announcement came on Tuesday amid reports of spiking numbers in the coronavirus pandemic. Best Buy joins a short list of retail and restaurant chains making this requirement.
Best Buy issued a press release on Tuesday, announcing that masks are now a requirement at all of its retail locations. If customers arrive without a face covering, one will be provided for them, and there may be some health conditions for which people are allowed to shop without one. Small children will also not be required to wear masks. However, the announcement said that customers with concerns about wearing a mask should look first to options like online shopping, home delivery or curbside pick-up.
Best Buy emphasized that these latter options are available to everyone to maximize safety during the coronavirus pandemic. As the outbreak rages on, many retailers have become more and more adept at contactless hand-offs, fundamentally changing the way business is done in many cases.
Best Buy can now be counted alongside Starbucks, which announced last week that customers are required to wear face masks if they visit the cafe, and other chains around the U.S. doing the same. As Best Buy prepares to enforce this policy on a company-wide level, it is a part of a call on governors to enforce this measure on statewide levels as well.
Best Buy is a part of The Retail Industry Leaders Association, along with Target, Home Depot and other nationwide chains. Last week, the association published an open letter to state governors, asking them to mandate face masks in public shops in their states to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Not only will the masks protect public health, they argued, but a uniformity in rules would reduce the conflict and confusion between customers and employees, which have resulted in unnecessary confrontations lately.
Many viral videos in recent weeks show customers growing enraged when they are asked to wear a mask or leave a store, claiming that it is an infringement on their constitutional rights. This is not the case, and according to a report by Poynter, stores have as much right to require customers to wear a face mask as they to require customers to wear shoes and shirts.