WASHINGTON — Chipotle is requiring that customers wear masks, effective Friday.
The company issued the corporate face mask policy for its stores across the United States as COVID-19 spreads in several regions throughout the country. The burrito and bowl chain says people need to wear face coverings to stay safe during the pandemic.
Indoor dining has not reopened in every state, but Chipotle is among several stores and restaurants that are now requiring people to wear face masks inside. McDonald's, Target, Starbucks and several other businesses have said this month that patrons must cover their faces.
"Starting today, Chipotle has proactively made the decision to require guests to wear masks in all restaurants," Laurie Schalow, Chipotle's chief corporate affairs and food safety officer, said in a statement emailed Friday. "The health and safety of our employees and guests is our top priority."
A sign at a Chipotle in West Des Moines, Iowa, cited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. It said that the CDC recommends customers and workers wear a face covering inside, but made exceptions for people who are unable to for medical reasons or children younger than 2 years old.
The Iowa store sign said those who don't feel comfortable or can't wear a mask can speak with any employee "so we can find the best way to serve you." Customers can also order pickup on Chipotle's app.