Coffee giant Starbucks will soon enforce a mask mandate across all of its U.S. stores beginning July 15, requiring every customer who enters a company-owned store in the U.S. to wear a face coverings, it said in a press release Thursday.
Would-be customers who don't wish to cover up can order coffee to go at drive-thru locations, or else pre-order goods through the Starbucks app, to be picked up curbside or for delivery.
"The company is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Starbucks said in a statement on its website.
The company said it is prioritizing the health of its customers, supporting public health officials in their efforts to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and responsible serving the communities in which it operates, a company spokesperson said.
For those customers who object,, a San Diego yoga instructor who fumed on Facebook about a Starbucks barista who asked her to wear a mask, in accordance with the county's public health mandate.
Gilles was widely panned on social media, while a sympathetic stranger started a GoFundMe campaign for the barista she berated, Lenin Gutierrez, that raised more than $100,000 for the employee.