McDonald’s (MCD) will put a hold on reopening dining rooms for at least 30 more days and will require customers to wear face masks when inside its restaurants as coronavirus cases across the U.S. continue to rise.
The face mask requirement is effective in all of McDonald’s U.S. restaurants, starting on Aug. 1. The company said about 86% of its locations are already in areas that require face masks in public.
“This public health crisis continues, with 1 million new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks alone,” Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, and Mark Salebra, chair of the National Franchise Leadership Alliance, said in a joint statement. “At the same time, we’re learning more.
“The latest science suggests droplets have the potential to stay in the air for extended periods of time, increasing the risk of virus spread, especially from asymptomatic carriers. As a result, the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control [and Pevention]reiterates face coverings are an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
McDonald’s has issued more than 50 process and procedure changes since the coronavirus pandemic started. One of the changes requires all company employees to wear face masks.
McDonald’s, which had begun reopening its dining rooms in some restaurants, said it is hitting the pause button for the next 30 days, and will not approve the reopening of any additional dining rooms during this time period.
The fast-food chain also said it would add protective panels to the front and back at its restaurants, designed to allow for an increase in capacity at its stores as well as the ability to add additional staffing while meeting social distancing guidelines.
Shares of McDonald’s were trading at $198.08 as of 2:57 p.m. ET, up 53 cents or 0.27%.