11 Major Grocery Chains Still Following This COVID Precaution
A lot has changed this year for many people and one thing that turned into a much different experience is a trip to the grocery store. Going food shopping in 2020 not only means you arrive with a list prepared of what items you're going to buy so you don't spend too much time in the store while making sure you sanitize the shopping cart you're using, but you often need to be wearing a face mask. There are plenty of major grocery chains that had decided early on that customers are required to wear a face-covering while they shop.
So which stores are still taking this precaution in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19, now that the world has been living through this pandemic for months? We rounded up the biggest grocery store chains that still are following this precaution so you can be fully prepared for your next food shopping outing. And while you're taking necessary precautions to stay healthy, be sure to try out any of the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Walmart is known for being a store where you can find just about everything, and that includes low-priced groceries. With so many people flocking to their local Walmart for groceries, it comes as no surprise that the retail giant announced in a statement that "to help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20." And since the summer, this mandate has stayed in place. The policy is actually enforced by the retailer's Health Ambassadors, who make sure the mask rule is followed by all shoppers.
On April 20, Sam's Club associates were required to wear face masks and since July 20, all members and shoppers had to wear face coverings. This is still the case, as well.
Beginning July 22, Kroger announced that customers will be required to wear a face mask in all stores nationwide. This is something that is still in place for all customers and associates.
"We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country," the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain said in a statement.
If you've taken a shopping trip to Trader Joe's, then know crew members are all wearing face masks, and have been for months. On the company's website, it still states, "We require customers wear a face covering that meets the standards of applicable health authorities while shopping in our stores."
You've most likely seen the viral footage of what happened when a customer refused to shop with a face mask on—hint: she was asked to leave.
Back in May, Costco released a statement letting shoppers know that "all Costco members and guests must wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose, at all times while at Costco." Employees are required to wear a face mask as well and this is a policy that is still in effect.
"Effective Nov. 16, 2020, we will require all members, guests, and employees to wear a face mask or face shield at Costco locations. Entry to Costco will only be granted to those wearing a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt," the website states. "Costco has had a face mask policy in effect since May 4, 2020, but members who could not wear a mask due to a medical condition were exempt. This is no longer the case. If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco."
Target, like Walmart, is known for its beloved grocery section, and since August 1, customers were required to wear a mask in all stores, except for "those with underlying medical conditions and young children." This is still the case, and if you happen to not have a mask with you, there actually are disposable masks at store entrances.
Publix is actually one of the largest regional supermarket chains, with stores throughout the Southeast. When you head into a store to order one of their iconic "Pub Subs" among other items, you'll still have to wear a mask.
"As of July 21, customers are required to use face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix store. This new mandate is encouraged by the CDC for most individuals. Thank you for doing your part to limit the spread of COVID-19," the company's website states.
(Looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!)
The German-owned supermarket chain known for discount prices announced that effective July 27, "face coverings will be required to enter ALDI stores." Currently, the store's site still says "customers and employees are required to wear properly fitting face coverings."
Stop & Shop
Northeast supermarket chain Stop & Shop has a list of guidelines on the company's site that explains exactly what customers can do to create a safe shopping experience. That still includes wearing a mask in stores, along with washing your hands before and after shopping.
If you happen to stop by a ShopRite, you might've encountered signs outside of the supermarket chain letting you know that a mask is required in order to enter. And this is a precautionary measure the store is still enforcing.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and as circumstances evolve we continue to adapt and respond to the needs of our associates, our customers, and the communities we serve. State governments have eased some restrictions for the public and local businesses but we want to assure you that we remain focused on the rigorous cleaning and safety protocols that keep our stores a safe place to work and shop. Please continue to wear a face covering when you shop and follow the social distancing guidelines posted in stores," the company's website says.
Like other grocery stores, Whole Foods employees are still required to wear face masks. When it comes to customers, the company's policy regarding face coverings hasn't changed since July 20.
"Whole Foods Market requires all customers to wear face coverings while shopping in our stores to protect the health and safety of our team members and communities. Whole Foods Market provides face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering," the company says.