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Retail industry calls on governors to enforce statewide mask mandates

Some of the nation's biggest retailers are asking state leaders to mandate and enforce mask wearing.
Businesses react to mask mandate
Businesses react to mask mandate(nbc15)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:31 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Some big retailers are calling for all U.S. governors to make masks mandatory within their states. The Retail Industry Leaders Association represents places like Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Home Depot, among others. It said local mandates that vary can create confusion and lead to conflict between customers and employees.

“We think it’s important for the governors to create statewide uniform rules so that everybody understands what the rules are no matter where they shop. We also think it’s important that front line retail employees not be the principal enforcer in this and that they not become defacto law enforcement officials. Enforcing the law really does fall upon law enforcement officers. We view the role of the retailer to use signage to use PA announcements to make very clear when you enter the store what that policy is,” said Jason Brewer, with RILA .

The organization wrote a letter to the National Governors Association hoping to have their voices heard. Some consumers have refused to wear a mask.

“The science on this is pretty clear and if you’re like me you want to get back to normal, you want retailers to be open and stay open, you want your bars and restaurants to be open again, you want to go back to having a football season again then one of the selfless things you can do is put on a mask. I don’t think anyone enjoys putting these on,” said Brewer. “It’s not a violation of your rights and if you’re someone who has a medical condition that’s a different story.”

“We don’t want to create a physical confrontation between employees and customers. We’ve all seen on YouTube and social media where customers have, in some cases, spit on, attacked and verbally assaulted retail employees and they don’t deserve that. They worked hard to to make sure families had what they needed whether it’s a grocery store or home improvement. Grocery and retail workers have been there for all of us in this crisis and really deserve our respect,” Brewer added.

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