Major retailers to states: Mandate face masks now

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers have a message for state governors: Please make everyone wear a face mask.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents Target, Home Depot and other major chains, believes that the hodgepodge of rules around the country have created confusion for shoppers and that has lead to conflict between customers and workers trying to enforce store rules.

The National Governors Association said Tuesday that its members are discussing the letter and others like it from different retail groups.

Social media is full of videos capturing clashes between those who are asked to wear masks, and employees who are under orders to make sure people wear them.

“Retailers are alarmed with the instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers,” said RILA President Brian Dodge.

In a letter to the National Governors Association this week, the RILA asked governors to require face masks when in public or while shopping. Fewer than half of U.S. states require masks in public places, according to the RILA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people cover their mouth and nose when around other people to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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