Banks Embrace Face Masks as Safety Measure Despite Challenges

Banks Embrace Face Masks as Safety Measure Despite Challenges

By Ken Sturtz Thompson In the months since the COVID-19 virus began spreading across the United States, perhaps no change has been as noticeable as the introduction of face masks to limit the spread of the virus. Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring a mask or a face covering in public when social distancing isn’t possible, face masks have become ubiquitous. But there’s at least one place left where masks are met with some suspicion: banks. At first there wasn’t much of a problem. Banks, deemed essential businesses, remained opened but closed their branch lobbies. Customers could do their banking online or via one of the bank’s drive-through lanes, which offered plenty of physical distance. But as banks began reopening their lobbies to customers, they were obliged to follow the mask order. The American Banking Association urged banks nationwide to require anyone entering a branch to wear a mask or face covering “to protect the health of bank employees and customers.” Federal regulators, however, were skeptical of indefinitely allowing bank customers to wear face masks. Temporarily relaxing rules against face masks during the height of the pandemic made sense, according to a letter released by the Office

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