Kroger to require shoppers to start wearing face masks

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PR Newswire

Kroger is joining a growing list of stores that will begin to require customers to wear face masks or some type of facial covering while shopping.

According to a story in Chain Store Age, published July 15, this extends to everyone:

Kroger said that, starting July 22, it will require customers in all locations to wear a mask when shopping in its stores, joining "our associates who continue to wear masks." The retailer is encouraging customers who, due to medical reasons, may be unable to wear a mask to consider alternative options, such as a face shield. Customers who are unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, are being asked to order groceries online. 

“We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country,” company spokeswoman Kristal Howard told CNBC.

And Kroger is just one of the shops that announced new guidelines this week.

Walmart stores will also begin requiring customers to wear a face covering while shopping as of Monday, July 20.

In a release, the company said, "As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented. Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20."

The company has also created a new role in their stores, Health Ambassador. Ambassadors — dressed in black polo shirts — will be stationed at the entrance to remind customers to mask up and will work to find a solution if they don't have a mask when they arrive.

Sam's Club will also be requiring members to wear a mask and will be providing free face coverings at the entrance if guests arrive without one.

In Michigan, people are required to wear masks while in indoor businesses. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive last week that requires the use of masks in crowded outdoor spaces as well. Business are required to refuse entry or service to people who aren’t wearing a mask, with a few exceptions.

Violators could face a $500 fine.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper, Cincinnati CityBeat. Lee DeVito contributed to this report.

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