Kroger Will Still Require Customers to Wear Masks in States That Are Lifting Mandates

The governors of Texas and Mississippi both ended their state's mask mandate this week

Photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

If you shop at Kroger, expect to wear a mask.

On Wednesday, the Kroger Family of Companies, one of America's largest chain of grocery outlets, announced that they would continue to require customers to wear a face covering in their stores despite some states lifting their mask mandate.

"The Kroger Family of Companies' most urgent priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, e-commerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh food," a Kroger spokesperson told Fox News.

"To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies 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," the spokesperson continued. "We also continue to advocate to federal, state, and local officials to prioritize frontline grocery workers for the vaccine rollout plan, and we will offer a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine."

The company said it would also continue to adhere to other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines, such as social distancing and hand washing.

Kroger's statement comes after Republican governors of both Texas (Greg Abbott) and Mississippi (Tate Reeves) ended their state's mask mandate this week and fully reopened all businesses.

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

Hours later, President Joe Biden warned against the continued threat of the virus despite the administration's COVID-19 vaccination efforts. He said that although the nation is "moving in the right direction," the public should continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 safety precautions.

"I have to be honest with you: This fight is far from over...Though we celebrate the news of the third vaccine, I urge all Americans: Please keep washing your hands, stay socially distanced, wear masks—keep wearing them, get vaccinated when it's your turn. Now is not the time to let up," he said.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles