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Dollar Tree, Family Dollar backtrack to 'requesting' customers wear face masks

The updated company policy said employees will be required to wear masks and customers will only be requested to do so unless required by state or local ordinance.

As numerous retailers update their protocol and require customers to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are walking back their national mandate now only making a "request" that customers wear a face covering.

USA Today and Forbes report that Dollar Tree, which owns and operates Family Dollar, reversed a decision which would have required customers to wear face masks, eight days after it was put in to place. 

Previously, language posted on the company's website on July 8 stated "all Associates, customers, and vendors to wear cloth face coverings when inside our stores." 

The website was updated on July 16, and the Dollar Tree now says employees will be required to wear masks and customers will only be requested to do so.

"In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are requiring all Associates and vendors to wear face coverings when inside our stores," Dollar Tree's website states. "We also request that our customers wear face coverings, and require face coverings where required by state or local ordinance."

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In seeking comment, Dollar Tree's Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Randy Guiler reiterated the guidance posted on the company's site.

At least half the states in the U.S. have issued statewide mandates for people to wear face coverings. Several retailers, including Target, CVS, Best Buy and Starbucks, have also made face coverings a requirement.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said last week that the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. could be brought under control in 4-to-8 weeks if mask use was universal.

Credit: AP
A marquee sign beckons customers to this Family Dollar story in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)