July 24, 2020 / 6:26 PM / 13 days ago

McDonald's will require customers to wear masks in U.S. restaurants

FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Queens, New York, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) - McDonald’s Corp said on Friday it would require customers to wear face masks in its U.S. restaurants starting next month, as new coronavirus cases surge across the country.

The world’s largest fast-food chain also said it would extend its pause on the re-opening of dining rooms in the United States for another 30 days.

At the start of July, McDonald’s had planned to pause the reopening of its dine-in service by 21 days, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Using face masks is the top recommendation from health experts and government officials looking to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 4 million people in the United States.

Other companies, including Walmart Inc, Target Corp and Starbucks Corp, have also made masks compulsory, even as Americans stay divided over their imposition, with some seeing it as a violation of their constitutional rights.

McDonald's said it would train its employees to address customers who decline to wear a face covering in a "friendly, expedited way". (bit.ly/2ZUFlnb)

Reporting by Mehr Bedi; Editing by Aditya Soni

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