DENVER – Fully vaccinated customers won’t be required to wear a mask at King Soopers locations across Colorado starting Thursday.
Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers, announced the policy change for fully vaccinated customers late Wednesday morning.
“We have received feedback from and heard the valued opinions of thousands of associates regarding the CDC’s announcement,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “Based on the CDC’s science-based guidance and the input of our associates, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect.”
Starting Thursday, May 20, fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated associates will no longer need to wear a mask at Kroger facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices, unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction, the statement from the company reads.
Non-vaccinated employees and those working in pharmacy and clinic locations will still be required to wear a mask, the company said.
King Soopers joins other grocers across the nation in lifting mask mandates for fully vaccinated customers and staff, following the latest mask guidance from the CDC, which states fully vaccinated people can remove their masks or face coverings in most indoor settings.
The grocer started requiring masks indoors at all their locations on July 22, 2020 – five weeks after Colorado health officials said they had started seeing the beginning of a second wave of the novel coronavirus across the state.
In their statement, Kroger said it would continue to request that non-vaccinated customers continue to wear a mask, and added they would "continue to respect the choice of individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask."