McDonald's has made a major decision regarding mask usage in their locations across the United States. On Monday, McDonald's announced that they would be making masks mandatory for all guests and employees, per Reuters. The company's mandate includes those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to USA Today, McDonald's will be requiring both guests and employees to wear their masks in locations where there is high or substantial transmission of the coronavirus. The publication noted that McDonald's is now the largest national chain to add this requirement back in all of its stores across the country. USA Today acknowledged that several other chains in the United States, including Walmart, Target, and Lowe's, do require their employees to wear masks. However, they only strongly encourage those who visit their stores to wear their masks.
McDonald's noted that they made the decision to require both employees and guests to wear masks in their locations after a recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the Delta variant. Their decision also comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines in which they advised fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks. McDonald's isn't the only company that has reinstated its mask mandate. Apple was the first major retailer in the United States to call for both guests and employees to wear masks in their locations. But, unlike McDonald's, which is requiring this mask mandate to be implemented in all of its locations across the country, Apple has only re-introduced its mask policy in half of its locations.
McDonald's previously dropped its mask mandate on May 21. At the time, they stated that their employees would still be wearing masks, but that "masks will be optional for fully vaccinated customers unless required by local regulation, while social distancing and protective barriers in restaurants will remain in place." The company originally called for a mask mandate in August 2020. They stated that on Aug. 1, 2020, all individuals in their locations would be required to wear masks amid the growing COVID-19 crisis. McDonald's released a statement about their decision, which read, "While nearly 82% of our restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both crew and customers today, it's important we protect the safety of all employees and customers."