Whole Foods is the latest grocery store in Canada to require face masks
Leaders in Canada and around the globe have talked about the "new" normal that we will all be getting back to in the coming weeks and months, which will long include measures like social distancing and mask-wearing in crowds that will be a marked departure from our previous ways of life.
While frontline workers in all industries continue to equip themselves with personal protective equipment and health officials encourage people to adopt any sort of fabric face covering while out in public, there are some essential businesses that are now asking customers to sport face masks while in their stores.
Whole Foods is the latest to join supermarkets like Longo's and some smaller independents in requesting that shoppers wear some sort of face protection in all of its stores for the safety of themselves and others.
Unlike Longo's, the rule, which is coming into effect over the next week, will not be compulsory (yet), but the chain will be offering free disposable masks to anyone that walks in the door.
New: Whole Foods sent a memo to employees today saying they'll be asking customers to wear masks in the coming days. One worker told me she wanted this much more than the $2/hr premium they're getting.— Dave Jamieson (@jamieson) April 30, 2020
"We will begin requesting that all customers wear masks while shopping in our stores to protect the health and safety of our team members and communities," the bougie Amazon-owned company says in a statement on its website.
"Whole Foods Market will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering."
The retailer earlier this month started issuing PPE like face shields to all of its workers, raising employee wages and providing temperature checks on staff at its U.S. facilities (though staff joined those from Amazon, Target, and other major chains in protesting their lack of PPE, prompting Amazon to issue 100 million masks to workers earlier this week).
Sanitation and social distancing measures have also, like at all businesses remaining open right now, been ramped up.
@WholeFoods gives you free masks and gloves before you can enter. Everyone should be like Whole Foods!— Syd. (@Earth2Sydney) May 5, 2020
Air Canada recently issued similar directives regarding mask wearing for all passengers travelling on its flights.
Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 460 stores in the U.S., seven in the U.K. and 13 in Canada, including six in the Toronto area — two in downtown proper, one in Oakville, one in Mississauga, one in North York and one in Markham — six in Vancouver and one in Victoria, B.C.
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