These are the safety precautions in-person Black Friday shoppers should take, according to experts

Darren Hauck/Getty ImagesBlack Friday shoppers in West Allis, Wisconsin in 2014.
  • This year’s in-person Black Friday shopping event will look drastically different from the years prior as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Retailers have already started preparing for Black Friday shoppers by implementing safety measures like contactless curbside pick-up options and mandating mask wearing.
  • Three experts told Business Insider how deal-seeking shoppers can keep themselves safe.
  • Across the board, they all advise against wearing gloves, but recommend hand washing, hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and social distancing.
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In-person Black Friday shopping will look drastically different this year.

Many retailers have already begun preparing for this year’s Black Friday event by implementing safety measures as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the US.

Several big name brands — like Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Nordstrom — have already announced their Black Friday plans, many of which include requiring customers to wear face masks or shields, setting in-store capacity limits, and offering contactless curbside pick-up.

Beyond store mandates, customers who plan on shopping in-person this Black Friday will also have to play their part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, social distancing, and frequently washing and sanitizing hands, according to the three experts.


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Those who still want to shop in-store should wear a surgical, two-ply, or three-ply cloth mask both inside and outside the stores, Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told Business Insider. Stephen Kissler, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also recommends cloth masks, and says medical masks may not be necessary.

N95 masks “work well but are not fun to wear,” Stanley Perlman, a professor at University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, said. Weatherhead, however, advises against wearing these masks as they still need to be saved for healthcare workers and first-line responders.

Across the board, all three advise against wearing gloves while Black Friday shopping.

“Gloves, in these circumstances where you’re touching a lot of things and may then touch your face or something else with those gloves on, aren’t going to be beneficial in this situation,” Weatherhead said.

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