CVS, Target Join Walmart, Other Big-Name Retailers In Requiring Face Masks

Retailers CVS and Target both announced Thursday that they will be requiring all customers to wear face masks, MarketWatch reported. The two retail giants join Walmart, Kroger, and a number of other major companies to mandate that everyone cover their faces inside their stores.

In a tweet, CVS pointed to the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 -- the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus -- and said that beginning Monday, July 20, people who enter the company's stores will be required to have their faces covered.

According to USA Today, CVS is hoping consumers will voluntarily comply, as it is not going to ask its employees "to play the role of enforcer."

"What we are asking is that customers help protect themselves and those around them by listening to the experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering," the retailer said in a statement.

Target, in its own statement, noted that the vast majority of its locations are already in jurisdictions where local law requires people to wear face masks when out in public. It added that the new rules, which go into effect August 1, bring consistency across all of its locations.

"Given the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the role masks play in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, our store team members also already wear masks when they come to work, which we provide for them," the company noted.

The retailer also stated that it will provide disposable face masks to those who don't have one.

Further, Target will station employees at store entrances to remind buyers of the policies and will add signage explaining the policy as well.

outdoor signage of a target location
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Target, for its part, had already instituted other measures in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus in its buildings that don't require people to wear face coverings. For example, the company already allows "no-contact fulfillment options," including Drive Up curbside pickup and deliveries through Shipt. Further, the chain has added fresh and frozen groceries to the list of items that can be included in curbside pickup.

CVS and Target join an ever-growing list of retailers that are requiring customers to don face masks. Already this week, Walmart and Kroger have announced similar rules, joining Starbucks, Best Buy, and multiple others.

However, the matter of wearing face masks in retail stores has resulted in violence in recent weeks. For example, as reported by The Inquisitr on Thursday, a California grocery store employee pepper-sprayed a combative customer who was assaulting an employee after being told to put on a mask.