WASHINGTON - Across our region, new requirements are going into effect on wearing a face mask or covering while at the grocery store.
New rules take effect Monday in Montgomery County and Wednesday in Prince George's County. D.C. is already requiring it.
Since face masks can be difficult to come by, shoppers can wear a scarf or bandana or follow the CDC's guidance on making a mask from an old T-shirt or towel.
Enforcement will fall on grocery stores according to officials in D.C. and Montgomery County.
Jonathan Williams with UFCW Local 400, the union representing many grocery workers across the DMV, says it shouldn't be the cashiers and shelf stockers doing this enforcement.
"We have called on every company to ensure that extra trained security personnel are available, management or short of that, police patrols in order to enforce, not just wearing a mask in the store, but also six foot social distancing protocols among other safety measures," said Williams.
He said it's continued to be a struggle for workers to get proper protective gear and urged shoppers to follow the new requirements.
"We would ask that every customer respect employees at the grocery store," Williams said. "These folks are putting their lives on the line, they're risking their necks and their families as well to come to work to serve us in the community. So we ask that every customer respect the rules."
Stores not enforcing the face covering rules could end up with fines or even be shut down according to a Montgomery County spokeswoman.
People must also wear face coverings in pharmacies and other retail establishments. Prince George's County is requiring riders on county busses to wear masks as well.