National Retail Federation calls for stores to set nationwide mask mandate

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The National Retail Federation (NRF) is encouraging all retailers to adopt a nationwide policy that requires customers to wear face coverings.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group applauded companies that have already mandated a nationwide mask policy, including Walmart, Starbucks, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Apple, Qurate Retail Group and Costco.

“Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk,” NRF said in a statement.

The news comes on the heels of Walmart’s announcement on Wednesday that it will require shoppers to wear a face covering starting July 20 in all stores and clubs across the U.S.

“We hope today’s announcement by Walmart — the world’s largest retailer — that it will be enforcing a policy requiring customers to wear a mask to shop in their stores is a tipping point in this public health debate,” NRF said.

NRF, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and others called for a national standard for states on requiring mask wearing on July 2.

In a letter to President Trump, Vice President Pence, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the groups requested guidance on the appropriate metrics, whether positive tests numbers or hospitalization numbers, for imposing location-based mandatory mask requirements in public spaces.

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