Due to the rise in COVID cases nationwide, McDonald’s is once again requiring customers to wear masks regardless of vaccination status in areas of high or substantial transmission.
McDonald’s first announced its mask mandate in July 2020 at a time when 82 percent of its restaurants were in jurisdictions that required facial coverings for workers and guests, according to the Associated Press. However, when the CDC announced in May that fully vaccinated individuals could resume normal activities without wearing masks, the burger giant removed the mandate. McDonald’s said it never stopped requiring masks for unvaccinated individuals.
Because of the rise of the Delta variant, the CDC changed its tune in July and once again recommended that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission rates. In the wake of the major announcement, several markets across the country have reinstalled mask requirements, such as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Other food and beverage establishments have taken it a step further by mandating customers show proof of vaccination before dining inside. Danny Meyer told CNBC last Thursday that all indoor guests, employees, and new hires at Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants must be vaccinated. Unvaccinated workers have until September to decide whether to get the vaccine. Additionally, the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, which represents 500 bars, announced that it’s requiring proof of vaccination or a 72-hour negative COVID test before entry. The policy is voluntary, but SF Bar Owner Alliance President Ben Bleiman said 85 percent of bar owners are in favor of vaccine mandates, according to a survey.
On June 30, the seven-week average of COVID cases was 13,439, but on July 30, the average skyrocketed to 72,790, according to the CDC. Nearly 58 percent of the total population has received at least one vaccination dose while 49.7 percent are fully vaccinated.