Fred Meyer, CVS, Target join list of retailers requiring face masks

Masks are not generally required at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, but they are in the area near baggage claim where people go to get tested for COVID-19 (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

A growing number of major retailers with locations in Alaska will soon require customers to wear face coverings in stores to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Walmart will require face masks in all of its stores starting Monday.

And Kroger, the parent company of Fred Meyer, is asking all of its customers in all of its locations to wear a mask starting Wednesday.

A statement from Kroger said it’s aware some people may not be able to wear masks for medical reasons, and encouraged them to consider an alternative option like a face shield.

“If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our e-commerce services like pickup or delivery,” the statement said.

At CVS, face coverings will also be required Monday.

“To be clear, we’re not asking our store employees to play the role of enforcer,” Jon Roberts, chief operating officer, said in a statement. “What we are asking is that customers help protect themselves and those around them by listening to the experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering.”

At Target, a similar policy goes into effect Aug. 1. It exempts customers with underlying medical conditions and young children.

Walgreens, Best Buy and Kohl’s are also implementing mask requirements. Costco already has one in place. So does Starbucks.

The new requirements will not change anything in Alaska’s largest city. Anchorage is already requiring people to wear masks in public, indoor spaces. A list of other Alaska communities also have mask mandates including Valdez, Cordova and Gustavus.

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