As the number of infections for the coronavirus dubbed COVID-19 continues to rise unabated, the number of businesses requiring their customers to wear a mask while at their location is increasing as well.  

The hot debate in Georgia is whether or not masks should be mandatory while in public places.  Some cities in Georgia such as Atlanta had ordered that masks be mandatory while in public but Governor Brian Kemp issued an order that effectively blocks local mandates.  Gov. Kemp issued an order saying that masks in public are preferred but not mandatory and that he will not allow any local entity to order the use of them.  However, it will take the courts to decide whether or not Kemp’s order is valid or not so check ahead before traveling around the state without a mask.  

Governor Kemp’s mandate does not mean that private businesses can’t require that anyone entering their buildings must wear a mask.  Masks have been required at a number of businesses such as hair and nail salons from the beginning of the reopening of the economy following quarantine shut down.  Goodwill is a store that enforced that anyone entering one of their stores must put on a mask or they will be denied entry.

Stores that already require masks:  Apple, Best Buy, Costco, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Goodwill, Panera Bread, and Starbucks

Stores that will require masks beginning on July 20:  Kohl’s, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and Walmart; July 21:  Publix; July 22:  Kroger; and August 1:  CVS and Target

If you are headed to the Mall of Georgia to shop, take a mask with you.  While the mall itself hasn’t mandated the use of masks, numerous stores within the mall will require you to wear one before you are allowed to enter the store.

If you are traveling around the country, check before you travel to see if the state(s) you will be traveling within have a mask mandate in place.  Over 20 states have some form of a mandatory mask policy while in public.  Each state’s policy varies so make sure to do your research before you set off on your trip. 

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