Customers and workers vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter Kroger stores without a mask starting Thursday, the company announced in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
“Based on the CDC’s science-based guidance and the input of our associates, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances safety and respect,” a representative of the Cincinnati-based grocery chain wrote, adding later: “We will request that non-vaccinated customers continue to wear a mask.”
The policy defers to state and local health orders, meaning Kroger shoppers in regions still requiring mask-wearing in retail businesses should still cover their faces when they head inside.
State governments in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky have all dropped the masking requirement for vaccinated people inside retail businesses. Kroger shoppers in these states can enter maskless if they are vaccinated.
The company did not clarify how or if it planned to enforce the new rule.