Lowe’s Companies, Inc. on Friday announced that its company is adopting a nationwide standard for all customers to wear masks or face coverings when shopping in U.S. stores, effective July 20. 

Free masks will be offered at the customer service desk of every store for customers, the release states, while supplies last. 

“As a retailer offering essential goods, we have a responsibility to our associates, customers, and small businesses in communities nationwide to help provide a safe shopping experience,” Lowe’s president and CEO Marin R. Ellison said in a release. “Throughout this pandemic, our associates have worked tirelessly so customers could get the goods and services they needed for their homes and small businesses. For the safety of everyone in our stores, we ask that customers wear masks, and to make this new standard less restrictive, we will make masks available to those who need them.” 

According to the release, the CDC continues to advise that masks and face coverings are effective tools to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Lowe’s stores will have signage at store entrances requesting customers wear face coverings. 

“Since the early days of the pandemic, Lowe’s has taken several operational measures to support social distancing and offer customers shopping options, including in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and expanded product availability on Lowes.com, as well as a number of initiatives to encourage social distancing including overhead reminders, signage, and social distance ambassadors. Lowe’s will also continue to provide hand sanitizer at store locations,” the release states. “Lowe’s has required associates to wear masks since May and many Lowe’s locations where state and local authorities have required customers to wear masks. Encouraging mask use at stores nationwide is a further demonstration of Lowe’s longstanding commitment to promoting a safe environment for associates and customers.” 

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