Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic to require masks in all stores starting Aug. 1 as COVID-19 cases increase

Gap Inc. will soon require masks in all of its U.S. stores, which include Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, Janie and Jack and its namesake Gap stores.

The new requirement will start Aug. 1, the same day Target will start its nationwide mask mandate.

Monday’s announcement came the same day some of the nation’s biggest retailers – including Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, Walgreens, Kohl’s and Lowe’s – started requiring masks at all locations nationwide as COVID-19 cases rise. The coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.

“We’re committed to evolving our health and safety practices and keeping our teams, customers and communities at the core of every decision we make,” Gap Inc. said in a statement. “Given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the US and Canada, we want to do everything we can to help stop the spread of the virus.”

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Employees have already been required to wear masks since stores started reopening.

Small children and “those who are exempt due to an underlying medical condition” will not be required to wear masks, the release said.

“We will be offering disposable masks to customers who need them and ask that our customers join us in helping to protect our communities and create an enjoyable and safe shopping experience for all,” the release said. “Alternatively, customers are welcome to shop our brands online or via our Curbside Pickup service where available.”

Gap-owned stores also sell their own masks nationwide and online.

While more retailers are starting to require masks at stores nationwide, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar reversed course and changed their policies. The retailers now “request” shoppers wear face coverings but still “require face coverings where required by state or local ordinance.”

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Old Navy masks required: Gap Inc. will mandate masks nationwide Aug. 1

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