Starbucks customers – at least for the time being – will no longer be allowed to use personal cups, as the company seeks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
In a letter to customers that was posted on the company’s website, Executive Vice President and President of U.S. Retail Rossann Williams spelled out several measures to protect customers and employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are pausing the use of personal cups and ‘for here ware in our stores,” Williams wrote. “We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for ‘for here’ ware.”
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Williams wrote that the measures, in part, are designed “for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus.”
In addition to halting the use of personal cups, Williams announced the company is:
- Restricting all domestic and international business-related air travel until the end of the month;
- Modifying or postponing large meetings in the U.S. and Canada;
- Increasing standards for cleaning and sanitizing its stores;
- Educating store teams on how to report whether someone may have been impacted by the virus, and implementing support if a store needs to close due to a positive test.
Williams wrote that she is “optimistic this will be a temporary situation.”
As of Wednesday night, the death toll had risen to 11 following fatalities in California and Washington state. There are three presumptive positive cases in Florida -- two in Hillsborough and one in Manatee – and a fourth Floridian with coronavirus is self-quarantined in Washington state.