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Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic to require masks starting Aug. 1

Supermarket chain Winn-Dixie also announced it is reversing its previous policy and will start requiring masks next Monday.

The Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic will start requiring customers to wear face coverings on Aug. 1, joining a slew of retailers that have already put similar mandates in place to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Gap Inc. said the policy would affect all of its North American Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix and Janie and Jack stores.

Those with underlying medical conditions will be exempt, along with small children.

"We’re all in this together. And we can’t thank our teams and customers enough for all they do to help keep each other and our communities safe," the company said in a statement.

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The parent company of Southern supermarket chain Winn-Dixie said Monday that it is reversing its policy and will now require customers to wear masks at its stores.

Southeastern Grocers Inc. said the requirement will go into effect next Monday. The company had initially rejected a mask mandate, saying it did not want to put its workers in the position of having to ban customers.

But in a statement, the company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, said its position had “evolved" and it wanted to more clearly emphasize the importance of its customers', workers' and communities' safety. Still, the company said state and federal officials should be responsible for issuing mask requirements.

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