• Most major retail stores now require customers to wear masks before entering.
  • The coronavirus is still spreading across the country and requiring customers wear masks in public places can help prevent further COVID-19 transmission.
  • There have now been more than 4 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of a few days ago.

The number of coronavirus cases is rising rapidly across the country because a lot of people still refuse to adhere to basic COVID-19 safety measures. Aside from the fact that many people refuse to abide by social distancing guidelines — particularly younger people — wearing masks has bizarrely become something of a divisive political issue. At this point, it seems like we can’t go a couple of days without seeing a new viral video of a belligerent and indignant person refusing to wear a mask in a place of business where it’s demanded.

The simple reality is that masks can help prevent the coronavirus from spreading far and wide, which is key given how easily and quickly the virus can spread. Is wearing a mask uncomfortable and something of a nuisance? Sure. But it’s nothing short of a necessity in the midst of a global pandemic that the United States is still struggling to get a handle on. That said, a number of prominent retail stores in recent weeks starting implementing rules which demand that customers wear masks before entering.

If you’re safety-minded and would prefer to avoid retail stores that leave mask-wearing up to each individual shopper, the following list of stores which require customers to wear masks should be helpful:

  • Trader Joe’s
    • Trader Joe’s was actually one of the first chains to require customers to don masks. Going even one step further, some Trader Joe’s locations are severely limiting the number of shoppers who can be in a store at a given time. This has led to long lines around the block at some locations.
  • Whole Foods Market
    • Whole Foods implemented mandatory mask-wearing about a week ago, with their website reading in part:
      • Effective July 20, Whole Foods Market requires all customers to wear face coverings while shopping in our stores to protect the health and safety of our Team Members and communities. Whole Foods Market provides face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering. Stores will continue to follow local ordinances regarding personal protective equipment.
  • Starbucks
  • Walmart
  • McDonald’s
    • McDonald’s a few days ago announced that all store locations will require masks beginning on August 1.
      • To that end, and in order to protect the safety of our employees and customers, we will ask all customers to wear face coverings when entering our US restaurants effective August 1. 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.
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Costco
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Home Depot
  • Gap
    • Note that masks are required at all Gap-owned properties, including Old Navy and Banana Republic.
  • Kroger
  • Kohl’s
  • Lowe’s
  • Apple Stores
  • Winn-Dixie
    • Winn-Dixie initially left the decision to wear a mask up to customers. The supermarket chain, however, reversed course last week amid public outcry.
  • Publix
  • Verizon
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Mernards
  • PetSmart
A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.