HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that on Friday, the first phase of reopening Texas will begin after his “stay home” order expires on Thursday.
During the announcement, Abbott said that while wearing a mask in public is recommended, it is not mandated. What’s more, he also said his executive order would supersede local orders that impose fines or penalties for not wearing a mask in public. This was in direct contradiction to an order signed by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo last week that would require all residents to wear a mask in public starting Monday.
After Hidalgo made her announcement last week, H-E-B announced that its stores within the county would require employees and shoppers to wear masks or face coverings, in compliance with her order.
While Abbott’s order says a mask is not mandated, business owners reserve the right to refuse entry to customers who are not wearing a mask.
Once Abbott made his announcement Monday afternoon, KPRC 2 checked back in with H-E-B, as well as Kroger, to find out what their mask policies will be, moving forward.
“H-E-B requires the use of masks or facial covering by all our customer facing and close contact Partners,” wrote Lisa Helfman, the director of Public Affairs for the retail chain. “We strongly recommend the use of masks or facial coverings by all our customers.”
Customers will now be encouraged to wear masks but will not be barred entry into the stores for not wearing them.
Kroger too will not require customers to wear a mask, although they do encourage it.
“We have provided masks for all our store associates to wear, and we’ll be requiring associates to wear them in all of our store locations,” officials with the retail giant wrote in a statement.
They went on to wrote that “we also encourage all our customers to wear a mask when they visit our stores, or alternatively, consider one of our ecommerce options available at kroger.com.”
Randalls said they are “asking customers to wear face coverings, as the county order requires." However, they are not turning customers away for not wearing a mask.
“We continue to follow guidance from the CDC and various state and local health authorities, including local ordinances regarding personal protective equipment. Since April 13, we have required anyone working in our stores to wear a mask throughout the entirety of their shifts and are offering personal face shields to all Team Members as an additional, optional protective measure.” – Whole Foods Market Spokesperson
Costco members and guests will be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times while inside its stores.
“Costco members and guests must wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth and nose, at all times while at Costco. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.”
Walmart and Sam’s Club
Walmart, the parent company of Sam’s Club, is requiring all employees to wear face coverings while at work, while also encouraging customers and its members to wear face coverings while in its stores as well.
“We will begin requiring that associates wear masks or other face coverings at work. This includes our stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as in our corporate offices. We’ll also be encouraging customers and members to wear face coverings when they shop with us.”
KPRC 2 will update this list when more grocery stores provide mask guidelines.