Customers Are Angry That These Beloved Stores Don’t Require Face Masks

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<p>Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>recommending that everyone wear face masks</a> to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the use of face masks has become a <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>divided issue among Americans</a>. Some believe that it’s their right to choose <em>not</em> to wear a face mask, while others strongly believe that face masks should be required by local governments and businesses alike to help keep everyone safe. Some stores <em>have</em> issued nationwide <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>face mask requirements</a>, mandating customers in every store wear face coverings while shopping. Other stores, however, have decided to only encourage their patrons to wear face masks, but not require them—a decision that has angered many loyal customers.</p>
<p>Despite being one of the largest retailers in the country, <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Walmart is one of the beloved stores</a> not requiring customers to wear face masks. They are requiring that associates wear face coverings while at work, but their website says they are only “<a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>encouraging customers to wear face coverings</a>” when they shop in stores. <strong>Patrick Casteel</strong>, a resident from Fredonia, New York, told a WKBW reporter that he was “so disgusted and worried” by how many people were not wearing masks inside his local Walmart that he’s decided <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>not to revisit the store during the pandemic</a>.</p>
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<p>Starbucks has a similar policy, <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>requiring employees to wear face coverings</a> while at work, but only “requesting” (not requiring) customers to do so as well. This <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>lax policy</a> has upset some patrons, who have started a petition to get <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Starbucks to issue a customer face mask requirement</a>, saying that the company is “doing nothing to protect employees from customers” or customers from each other. The petition currently has over 800 signatures.</p>
<p><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-190695″ src=”″ alt=”Starbucks coffee logo in front of the shop” width=”1200″ height=”800″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ /></p>
<p>Only time will tell if the Starbucks petitioners’ efforts pay off in the same way a similar petition for H-E-B, a supermarket chain based in San Antonio, Texas, did. Many patrons were outraged after the company announced they were <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>no longer requiring customers to wear face masks</a> on June 2, the <em>San Antonio Business Journal</em> reported. These angry customers started a <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>petition to push the chain to reinstate the policy</a>, and it garnered more than 44,000 signatures. The petition seemed to work—with some judicial intervention. Bexar County Judge <strong>Nelson Wolff </strong>issued a new executive order on June 17 requiring businesses to implement coronavirus safety policies, including a requirement that employees and customers wear face coverings. H-E-B announced it would <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>reinstate the requirement</a> starting June 22.</p>
<p>However, it’s not just stores that are dealing with backlash. Former governor of California, actor, and professional bodybuilder <strong>Arnold Schwarzenegger </strong>made headlines this week after he announced he was leaving his go-to gym spot, Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, because the <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>company isn’t requiring patrons to wear face masks</a>, CBS Los Angeles reported.</p>
<p>”We love Arnold and completely respect his decision. We know that where to go and what to do as the country reopens is an important personal decision that everyone must make for themselves,” Gold’s Gym CEO <strong>Adam Zeitsiff</strong> told CBS. “Venice members are required to wear face masks when entering and existing the gym … and while we don’t require for members to <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>wear face masks during their workout</a>, we absolutely strongly encourage it.” And for more ways your store experience may change after coronavirus, check out these <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>7 Things You Won’t See at Retail Stores Ever Again After Coronavirus</a>.</p>

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