Mid-Southerners react after Kroger drops mask mandate for vaccinated customers


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kroger is no longer requiring vaccinated customers to wear masks but the grocery chain is still asking unvaccinated customers to mask up.

The new rules took effect Thursday, but many customers at Kroger on Union were still wearing masks even if they’re vaccinated.

“Waiting to see the efficiency or effectiveness of the vaccine,” Stan Miller said, “I think there’s been some cases reported of people contracting COVID that have been vaccinated. So, just play it safe.”

It was a similar story at the location on Goodman Road near I-55 in Southaven, Mississippi.

“I’d say 70/30,” L.J. Lynes said, “70% wearing masks, 30% not.”

“I be fine with that,” Shundarious Carter said, “I think it’s the people’s choice anyways.”

Other major retailers have made similar moves based on new guidelines released by the CDC last week. They say fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks or practice social distancing in most settings.

Home Depot, for example, has also removed its mask mandate but, like many Kroger customers, James Turner isn’t taking any chances.

“An inch of prevention is better than a mile of cure,” he said.

In line with other chains, unvaccinated Home Depot employees will still wear masks as will unvaccinated associates at Kroger.

None of the stores WREG talked with are asking for verification from their mask-less customers. This is being done on the honor system.

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