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Southeastern Grocers Lifts Mask Requirement for Vaccinated Customers, Employees

Winn-Dixie.jpg
RYAN KETTERMAN
/
VIA WINN-DIXIE

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores, has announced it will allow fully vaccinated customers and employees to shop and work maskless.

The company previously required face coverings on all customers and employees. The change announced Saturday comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday.

The CDC no longer recommends vaccinated people wear masks and social distance if it has been two weeks since their final shot. Masks are still recommended on public transportation.

Joe Caldwell, the director of corporate communications for Southeastern Grocers, did not say how the company would determine if customers were vaccinated.

“We respectfully ask those in our stores to be good neighbors by wearing masks if they are not fully vaccinated to allow all customers to enjoy a comfortable, safe shopping environment,” he wrote in in an email sent to WJCT News.

When asked Thursday how to know if someone is vaccinated, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci said that would rely on a type of honor system.

“You’re gonna be depending on people being honest enough to say whether they are vaccinated or not,” he told CNN.

Winn-Dixie is not the only supermarket that changed its mask policy last week. Publix, Target, Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe's also allow fully vaccinated people to go maskless.

Tristan Wood can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @TristanDWood.

Tristan is WJCT’s 2021 Summer Reporting Intern. He has previously worked as the City and County Commission reporter for the Independent Florida Alligator, Gainesville’s student-run newspaper, and Fresh Take Florida, a news service working in partnership with the Associated Press to cover the Florida Legislature and select political news stories across the state.