April 15, 2020 By Allie Griffin
New York City grocery stores should require customers to wear a face covering or mask while shopping amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said today.
“I’m giving the guidance to all supermarkets and groceries — require customers, require customers to wear face coverings when they come in,” de Blasio said at a press briefing this morning.
He said stores should put up a sign at the entrance requiring shoppers to wear a face covering in order to enter the store.
The mayor said every store has the right to make the requirement.
“That is legal and appropriate,” de Blasio said. “The City will back you up.”
Any customer who refuses to wear a mask can be denied entry into the grocery store and if there’s a problem with compliance, store employees can call 311 to have police officers come and assist them, he added.
“It’s the smart thing to do for the health of all New Yorkers and the City of New York will back you up.”
The mayor called grocery store workers the “unsung heroes in this fight.”
“These are folks just trying to make a living for their families,” de Blasio said. “They did not expect to be on the frontlines of an international crisis, but they’re acting with the same resolve and the same spirit as all our other heroes.”
He said New Yorkers owe a lot of appreciation and respect to the workers and their families.
“Let’s give a lot of appreciation, a lot of respect to the people who make sure we get fed,” the mayor said. “Those grocery store workers, those supermarket workers — they get up everyday, they go to work, it’s a tough job.”
The Mayor’s Office is also working with supermarket and grocery store companies to ensure store employees get PPE supplies, he added.