• There are only a few behaviors that individuals can practice, like socially distancing from other people and wearing a face mask outside the home, that are regarded as efficient tools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Retailers like Apple, Verizon, and others have been much more aggressive than many state and local governments when it comes to masks and face coverings, requiring that customers wear them when visiting their stores.
  • Here’s a look at almost a dozen retailers that have opted to implemented face mask requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

A leading scientist declared this week that peoples’ refusal to wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic should be regarded as being as unacceptable as drunk driving or not wearing a seatbelt in a car. Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the UK’s Royal Society, made the pronouncement on Tuesday, lamenting the fact that “the public have taken to handwashing and distancing but remain skeptical about face coverings.”

This comes as the same displeasure is being expressed more and more here in the US by people aghast at anti-face mask advocates. Even actor Tom Hanks, who’s been making the press rounds in recent days to promote his new movie Greyhound coming to Apple TV+ this weekend, detoured a bit in his promotional efforts to scold people who refuse to take simple coronavirus prevention steps like mask-wearing. Along those lines, states and local governments across the US haven’t exactly been uniform in terms of who requires face masks in public settings and who doesn’t — but that’s a posture that the private sector, however, has been much more aggressive in mandating.

Indeed, shoppers around the US have no doubt started to get used to the ubiquity of signs that now instruct everyone to wear a mask inside, particularly in heavily-trafficked businesses like groceries and department stores.

face maskImage source: MohammadJavad Jahangir/Shutterstock

Studies have shown that practicing behaviors like wearing a face mask and socially distancing yourself at least 6 feet from people outside of your household can dramatically curb the spread of the coronavirus. With that in mind, we’d like to spotlight nearly a dozen major retailers that are requiring visitors to their stores to wear face masks inside (you can be provided one if you don’t have a face mask). The businesses include:

There are slight variations in policies at some of these retailers. For example, at Verizon, there’s a mandated ratio of one customer inside for every employee, which means that you might have to wait in your vehicle outside before being allowed into the store. Apple is also now offering customers the option to “Shop with a specialist,” allowing you to schedule a time to visit a store to make a purchase.

All this comes as the latest coronavirus numbers from Johns Hopkins University show that the US now has now surpassed 3 million reported cases of the virus, as well as more than 131,000 deaths.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.