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Wait, What’s This Extra Fee? Restaurants, Dentists Add COVID Surcharges

(Miami Herald) As businesses reopen from their pandemic shutdown, some are adding a new charge to help recoup costs of the coronavirus.

Dentists and restaurants have started to add COVID-19 fees to the bill. It’s a way to recoup the sudden costs of masks, gloves and sanitizing sprays by passing them to the consumer.

And customers are noticing.

In Missouri, a customer’s receipt from Kiko Japanese Steakhouse showing a $2.19 surcharge made the social media rounds.

Kiko apologized on Facebook, saying the surcharge was now gone but would soon be replaced by higher menu prices “due to increase prices from our supplier on meat, poultry, seafood and produce.”

In Florida, in Jacksonville, a mother noticed a charge at her child’s dentist office, Action News Jax first reported. Pediatric Smiles confirmed the new $10 per patient co-payment to offset costs of the additional masks and gloves, known as PPE.

In a statement, the office said the money went “to absorb the losses of our office being closed for seven weeks” and that third-party fees were officially recommended by the American Dental Association.

“With more debt and typically lower incomes, new dentists have unique challenges and outlooks during the crisis,” according to a statement by the ADA. 

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