The fast food giant said employees and customers are already required to wear face coverings at almost 82% of its restaurants as a result of state or local rules.
"From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve based decisions on our top priority: protecting the health and well-being of our and our franchisees’ employees and customers," McDonald's said in a statement.
The chain specifically cited recent CDC guidelines, which reiterate the effectiveness of face coverings in combatting the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that "people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."
The chain is also taking steps to prepare its employees in the event of potential pushback against the new rules, including additional training.
"The intent of this policy is to take a proactive approach and focus on quickly finding solutions when customers are unable or unwilling to wear a face covering," it said. "In those situations where a customer declines to wear a face covering, we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way."
In addition to requiring face coverings, McDonald's will also take two additional safety measures: installing protective panels throughout its locations and pressing pause on the re-openings of its dining rooms for 30 more days.
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