These Grocery Stores Are Ending Their Mask Mandates in Texas
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still "recommends that people wear masks in public settings" a year after the pandemic began. Despite this, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced the state's official mask mandate will end on March 10. Most grocery store chains have had a mask requirement since early on in the pandemic, and while some in the state are choosing to keep it, others aren't.
Below is a list of supermarkets that are not requiring masks after March 10, followed by ones that are. (And for more info about what is going to be on shelves when you shop, check out the Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)
Grocery stores not requiring masks:
H-E-B is requiring masks for all employees, but not for customers. "While statewide policy has changed, our store policy has not," the chain said in a statement on its website on March 3. "We will continue to request shoppers wear masks while in our stores. Additionally, we will still require all our Partners and vendors to wear masks while at work…Signs will remain posted at entrances and announcements made in store reminding customers to wear masks while shopping in our stores."
However, in a tweet on March 2, the chain said employees "will not engage in confrontation" should a customer shop without covering their mouth and nose.
Central Market is part of H-E-B and has the same policy. Only employees are required to wear masks, while customers are asked to please do so. "Although there is no longer a statewide mask order, Central Market and H-E-B believe it is important that masks be worn in public spaces until more Texans and our Partners have access to the Covid-19 vaccine," the chain says in a recent post on its website.
When the statewide mask mandate expires on March 10, all Albertsons locations will encourage, but not require, customers to wear a mask while shopping, says local El Paso news station ABC-7. All vendors and employees will still have to, though.
Grocery stores still requiring masks:
Walmart's facial covering policy has been in place since July 20, 2020, and it's not going away in Texas even though the statewide policy is.
A company spokesperson says Target isn't changing its mask requirements, according to local Dallas TV news station WFAA.
"Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been following CDC guidelines, and we do not plan to make any adjustments to our safety measures at this time," a spokesperson for ALDI said in an email to CBS News.
As of Feb. 19, Costco's face mask policy is still in effect, requiring all members and guests to cover their mouth and nose at all times while in the warehouse.
This grocery chain will "continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine," according to a statement given to USA TODAY.
Sprouts is following CDC recommendations and continuing to require customers to wear face masks in the store, according to local Austin news station KXAN.
To feel safe while shopping, Here's What You Should Do If Other Grocery Shoppers Aren't Wearing Masks.