How grocery stores, supermarkets in Texas and Mississippi are responding to lifting of states' mask mandates

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Some of the country’s biggest grocery store chains will continue requiring customers to wear masks in stores, or urging customers to do so despite Texas and Mississippi lifting mandates put in place during COVID-19 to protect against the spread of the virus.

Kroger and Aldi locations operating in Texas and Mississippi will still be requiring shoppers to wear masks. 

Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that both states would rescind state mask requirements (as of March 10 and March 3, respectively), citing reduced cases and more access to coronavirus vaccines as reasons for their decisions.

But with health officials urging that lifting mask mandates could drive new cases, some high-traffic supermarkets are doing their part to maintain the health and safety protocols in stores. 


Here are the updated safety guidelines from major U.S. grocers that operate in Texas:


Customers will be required to wear face masks inside Aldi stores, a company spokesperson confirmed to WFAA8 Dallas.

“For the health and well-being of the communities we serve and for the protection of our employees, we will maintain our current nationwide policy requiring all employees and customers to wear a face-covering when shopping in our stores. We will continue to assess any new guidelines issued by the CDC, and will keep our customers informed of any future changes,” Aldi said in a statement according to WFAA8. 



Albertsons, which also owns local grocery stores Tom Thumb and Randalls, won’t require customers to wear face masks. However, the chain is encouraging their use in stores, and will continue social-distancing guidance and cleaning protocols in addition to requiring its associates and vendors to wear face coverings. 

“For customers, we will encourage face coverings to be worn while in the store. We will continue our COVID health and safety measures, including enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing guidelines, plexiglass barriers, and daily associate health screenings,” a spokesperson told Fox News in an email, adding: “We will continue to monitor the situation and will work quickly to inform customers, associates, and vendors when or if there are changes to the health and safety policies currently in place.” 



Kroger will be requiring shoppers to wear masks until its employees can get access to vaccines. 

“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 said in an emailed statement to 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 statement added. “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.”

H-E-B and Central Market

Both H-E-B and Central Market will mandate employees continue wearing face masks, and encourage, but not require, customers to do the same.

“While statewide policy has changed, our store policy has not. H-E-B has always followed state and local ordinances and 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,” the chain said in a statement on its website. “Also, we understand some customers cannot wear a mask due to medical exceptions. We request all customers adhere to the Covid-19 protocols we have in place while shopping.” 

Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report 

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