Across the U.S., businesses are reopening as coronavirus restrictions are gradually lifting from state to state. But don’t expect everything to go back to normal just yet: To keep up with the rising costs of the pandemic, some businesses are now adopting COVID-19 fees and calling them surcharges.

I totally get why they are doing it — they’ve been hit hard by the pandemic and have to pay people to disinfect everything, give employees personal protective equipment (PPE), put up plexiglass, pay more for supplies due to the disrupted food chain, and the list goes on. I just want you to be aware this is happening and why.


Some Restaurants are adding a “COVID-19 surcharge” to your total.

The extra fee varies from restaurant to restaurant and helps business owners offset rising food costs and pay for sanitation and PPE expenses. One such restaurant — a Japanese restaurant in Missouri — got media attention for adding a $2.19 COVID-19 surcharge to a party’s bill.

Other restaurants are likely to do the same as food costs continue to increase and the CDC keeps these tough requirements in place. If you’re unsure if a restaurant has a coronavirus fee, look out for signs outside announcing it, or just ask.


Hair salons are adding a sanitation surcharge to keep up with costs.

To comply with coronavirus restrictions, salon owners have to make a pretty big investment into sanitation equipment, from masks and gloves to cleaning supplies. Some salons in my neighborhood have closed because they can’t fill up all of their chairs due to social distancing requirements, and without as many clients, won’t be able to make ends meet.

Again, the fee varies by area, depending on things like costs of doing business. A salon in Houston, Texas recently reopened, adding a $3 sanitation surcharge to customers’ totals.


FedEx is adding temporary surcharges for deliveries starting June 8.

Fedex recently announced they will tack on fees for FedEx Express, Ground, Freight and parcel deliveries.

This coronavirus surcharge will help FedEx offset rising costs and better manage the huge increase in orders and shipments.

Here are the packaging surcharges you’ll want to be aware of:

  • FedEx SmartPost packages: $0.40 per package
  • Oversize charge: $30 per package
  • Residential delivery charge: $0.30 per packages


Dentists are charging patients an “infection control fee.”

Dental offices across the country are charging an “infection control fee” — which may range anywhere from $10 to $20 — to help cover the cost of masks, face shields, gowns and air purifiers to keep offices free of the coronavirus.


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