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Chipotle Joins Other Businesses in Requiring Masks at All Locations

Another major chain will require face coverings at all of its US locations.

chipotle mask policy
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Another major chain has announced that it will require all customers to wear a mask. Chipotle will now mandate that all customers wear a face covering at its restaurants in the United States.

Big box retailers began announcing similar mask policies earlier in July, and McDonald's announced a mask policy on July 24. (However, the McDonald's policy doesn't go into effect until August 1.) Chipotle's mask rule went into effect on Friday, with signage hitting locations to let customers know about the policy before they enter, reports CNN

The policy is aimed at helping curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United States by protecting customers and staff. The US has now passed four million coronavirus cases, and the last million occurred over a period of about two weeks.

"The health and safety of our employees and guests is our top priority," Laurie Schalow, Chipotle's chief corporate affairs and food safety officer, told FOX Business. "Chipotle has proactively made the decision to require guests to wear masks in all restaurants."

Among the new protocols at Chipotle are mandatory handwashing every 30 minutes for staff, hand sanitizing stations for customers, and a dedicated "dining room steward" whose job includes "continuously cleaning, sanitizing, and directing pickup orders to assist with physical distancing." 

It's likely that more chains are going to embrace mandatory mask policies, as states and localities continue to issue mandates. In many cases, implementing a policy like this only impacts a small number of locations. For instance, before McDonald's July 24 announcement, the company said that 82% of its restaurants were already functioning in locations with some form of mask mandate. But companies will continue to roll out policies like this as the virus continues to spread.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.