Grocery Chain Does a 180 on Masks

Winn-Dixie will require them after all
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2020 12:47 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2020 6:44 AM CDT
Nevermind: Winn-Dixie Will Require Masks
Shoppers leave a Winn Dixie grocery store in Fern Park, Fla., donning masks in response to the coronavirus crisis, Thursday, April 2, 2020.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

The parent company of Southern supermarket chain Winn-Dixie said Monday that it is reversing its policy and will now require customers to wear masks at its stores to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the AP reports. Southeastern Grocers Inc. said the requirement will go into effect next Monday. The company had initially rejected a mask mandate, saying it did not want to put its workers in the position of having to ban customers. But in a statement, the company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., said its position had “evolved" and it wanted to more clearly emphasize the importance of the safety of its customers, workers, and communities. Still, the company said state and federal officials should be responsible for issuing mask requirements.

“We will continue to work with our peers in the retail industry to advocate for this sensible mandate to be passed into law to remove the burden from employers and their heroic frontline associates,” the company said. Walmart, supermarket chain Kroger, and department store Kohl’s are among other retailers that have required customers to wear masks at their stores, in lieu of states and the federal government that have not issued such mandates on an issue that has been highly politicized by President Trump and many of his ardent supporters.

(More coronavirus stories.)

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