Kroger drops mask policy for shoppers, employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, has dropped its mask policy, effective Thursday, May 20, in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a press release from Kroger, masks will no longer be required for people who are fully vaccinated. That includes shoppers and most employees. Associates in the pharamcy and clinic location will be required to continue wearing a mask. 

The press release states the mask policy will be dropped at all facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices - unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction. 

READ NEXT: Michigan stores that require masks - and those that don't.

The store is also non-vaccinated customers to continue to wear a mask.

Kroger said it consulted with the company's chief medical officer and listened to both associates and customers before making the change.

The grocery chain is following other stores, including Target, Walmart, and Meijer in allowing people to enter the store without a mask.

On Friday, the CDC said that fully vaccinated people don't need to wear a mask in most situations. According to the guidance, vaccinated people don't need to wear masks in most indoor spaces and outdoors, even when there are crowds. They still should be worn in crowded indoor places, such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

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Employers have the added challenge of how to verify if their employees have been vaccinated or not. Can a business mandate its employees get the COVID-19 vaccine?  

The question has been one that businesses have mulled over for months and, according to FOX 2's Charlie Langton, the short answer is yes, they can ask people if they are vaccinated.

READ NEXT: Do you have to wear a mask in Michigan?

"If an employer believes they want to make a safe workplace, I believe they can require their workers to get the vaccine," he said in Thursday morning's segment of The Verdict.

There are exceptions to this rule and to learn about those and it could mean to you and going back to work, check out this story: Can a business require its employees get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.