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Kroger is latest retailer to drop mask mandate

Kroger has joined the growing number of retailers relaxing their mask requirements in light of the updated guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nation’s largest grocery store retailer announced that, starting May 20, fully vaccinated customers and “most” fully vaccinated employees no longer need to wear a mask in its stores, distribution centers, plants and offices — unless required by state or local jurisdiction. In line with the CDC’s guidance for health care settings, employees in Kroger pharmacy and clinic locations will still be required to wear a mask.

Kroger employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to continue wearing masks. The retailer will “request” that non-vaccinated customers also continue to mask-up.

In dropping its mask requirement, Kroger joins such other big chains as Walmart, Target and Starbucks.

“Every step of the way, our most urgent priority has been the health and safety of our associates and customers, and we have consistently leveraged expert guidance and associate and customer feedback to guide our decisions,” said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger’s chief medical officer. “That focus continues today as we look ahead to a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Kroger will continue to implement enhanced cleaning and physical distancing across all its facilities as well as offering employees a $100 one-time payment for being fully vaccinated. 

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