NYC urges supermarkets, grocery stores to require face coverings to stop coronavirus spread
(File photo) People wearing facial masks, gloves are seen waiting outside a Shop Rite supermarket in Jersey City, NJ during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. April 15, 2020.
Mayor de Blasio recommended that New York City supermarkets and grocery stores require customers to wear face coverings to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect workers and ensure food access.
Hizzoner said Wednesday that food stores have the right to refuse entry to anyone who isn’t covering their face and that NYPD will help them enforce the requirement if necessary. He told stores to put up signs telling shoppers they can’t come inside without face coverings.
“This will help everyone to remember, when they’re in that kind of space, it’s so important to protect each other,” de Blasio said issuing the guidance at a briefing. “Any customer who says no, I refuse, should not be allowed in…the city of New York will back you up.”
This month, de Blasio recommended all New Yorkers cover their mouths and noses with scarves, bandannas or clothing when in public to help reduce transmission of the virus from people infected who don’t have symptoms.
“I want to see anyone who goes into a supermarket or a grocery store wear one of those,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “If you go into a place as important and as sensitive as a grocery store or supermarket, just put on a face covering, protect the workers there who are doing such important work, protect each other.”
He said that the concept was similar to “no shirt, no shoes, no service.”
“The store has every right to enforce that rule for its own premises,” he said. “If you don’t have a face-covering you have to go back out until you get one.”
Stores who need help enforcing the measure can call 311 or their local precinct and “of course the NYPD will help,” de Blasio said.
“We have to be clear, this is another one of those things we have to do to protect each other,” he said. “Any time the NYPD or any of our agencies are needed to help enforce, they’ll be there.”