McDonald's reinstates mask mandate in high transmission areas

McDonald's reinstates mask mandate in high transmission areas
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McDonald's will be reimposing its mask requirement for customers and employees at U.S. locations that are in areas of high or substantial coronavirus transmission, as cases once again surge due to the more infectious delta variant and the lagging vaccination rate.

As USA Today reports, McDonald's is the largest national chain to enact a mask requirement for both employees and customers, with 14,000 locations in the U.S.

The fast food giant said in a statement to The Hill on Monday that the decision was made based off of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and it applies to all employees and customers regardless of vaccination status.

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The restaurant chain had dropped its mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals in May.

The CDC last week reversed its previous recommendations that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in most situations. The agency's new guidance recommends that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in “public, indoor settings” that are in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission.

Other large chains such as Walmart, Target and Kohl's have also brought back mask mandates for their employees, but so far have stopped short of requiring them for customers. Instead they are strongly encouraging customers to wear masks.

Last week, Apple became the first major company to bring back its mask mandate for both employees and customers, saying it was doing so out of an abundance of caution.

USA Today reports that Apple's mask requirement will only affect about half of its 270 U.S. stores.