Starbucks to mandate facial coverings in all company-owned cafes starting July 15

Coronavirus

Starbucks said it's "prioritizing the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers"

CORTE MADERA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 10: A Starbucks worker prepares to clean the door at a Starbucks Coffee store on June 10, 2020 in Corte Madera, California. Starbucks announced plans to close 400 of its company owned cafes over the next 18 months as the coffee shop chain estimates losing over $3 billion due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (NEXSTAR) — Starbucks says it will require customers to wear a facial covering while visiting any of its company-owned cafe locations in the United States starting July 15.

The company announced the move on Thursday saying it’s “prioritizing the health and well-being of partners (employees) and customers.”

Starbucks says customers not wearing coverings will be able to pick up their order in the drive-thru or use curbside pickup through the Starbucks app. The covering will be required to enter the store.

It’s important to note the mask mandate affects just more than half of Starbucks’ locations. In a 2019 tax filing, the company said 55% of its 18,000+ stores are company-owned.

The World Health Organization has emphasized mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene by individuals are key strategies to fight the virus. WHO officials say governments and individuals should contour their mask policies and behavior based on the outbreak’s status in their countries.

According to the group Masks 4 All, 22 states have either an indoor or outdoor mask requirements in public places where social distancing is not possible.

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