Stores should require masks in morning, optional later

Shop for books in the morning in a store where all are masked. Optional later in the day.

Whatever the data say, and whatever your view, the world is removing mask mandates fast and furious. Some people don't want to wear one, others would prefer (or even need) shops and offices that require them.

A solution -- encourage stores and offices that welcome the public to require masks in the morning, then later in the day make them optional, at least for patrons.

Earlier in the pandemic it was common for stores to delegate the first hours to people in the vulnerable population (such as seniors) and this allows the same sentiment. Customers get to choose, nobody is forced into what they don't want, except perhaps what hour of the day to shop.

The stores can track what customers want, and adjust the hours to match customer demand. It will be easy to see who prefers masking (comes in morning), who hates it and even who doesn't care, though some surveys could help measure the last group. If only 20% want to mask, the store can allocate 20% of hours.

It is best to do masked in the morning, since once unmasked, the air in the building will be likely to contain more virus for some period of time, making the transition the other way more difficult. The main challenge is that some people an only shop outside of work hours, so you might want to try to close off with a masking hour and work hard to ventilate as it approaches.

Large chains could also have masked stores and unmasked stores, allowing people to pick their hours if they drive a bit further. Most grocery chains could do this.

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