Planet Fitness will require face masks inside gyms starting in August

A woman leg lifts at Planet Fitness in the Columbia Mall on July 24, 2017 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Mall space is being repurposed as more department store chains close stores that have traditionally served as "anchors" at malls. The Planet Fitnes

Planet Fitness announced Tuesday that anyone working out in its gyms will be required to wear a face mask at all times beginning Aug. 1.

The mandate will go into effect at all of the company's 1,450 locations in North America and Australia that are open to the public. Per company policy, all Planet Fitness employees are also required to wear masks.

"Gyms are part of the solution and a key element of the healthcare delivery system, providing much-needed access for people to exercise and stay healthy," said Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau. "Given our leadership position within the industry, we believe it's our responsibility to further protect our members, employees, and communities so that we can all safely focus on our health, which is more important now than ever before."

RELATED: Is it safe to go to the gym during the coronavirus pandemic?

All of the company's locations will be equipped with disposable masks for members or guests that do not have one, according to the company's policy. 

If a member has a medical exemption that prevents them from wearing a mask or if they simply prefer not to wear one, the company will freeze their membership "until such time when we are no longer requiring masks in our clubs at all times," Planet Fitness' policy reads.

The move comes as a fresh round of cases flares up in parts of the United States. As a result, droves of retailers from Home Depot, CVS and Costco to Starbucks have issued mandates for its customers to cover up while inside stores.

While many businesses had required their associates to wear masks during their shifts, depending on state or local mandates customers may not have previously been required to do so.

The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has climbed past 4.2 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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