In a retail landscape rife with stores requiring masks, Winn Dixie won’t.
A spokesperson from the grocery chain’s parent company Southeastern Grocers said it isn’t mandating face coverings during the pandemic to avoid “undue friction” between customers and staffers.
“We strongly encourage state officials to lead the way in regulating these type of safety mandates,” said Joe Caldwell, director of corporate communications at Southeastern Grocers in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
Winn Dixie, which has hundreds of locations throughout the southern states, is “allowing associates to wear face masks” rather than requiring them, according to a statement on the parent company’s website.
“We will continue to refine our processes and protocols in our stores, with health and safety as our guide, as long as this pandemic remains a threat,” the website says.
Like many other grocery stores, Winn Dixie has installed floor decals and Plexiglas partitions at the checkout counter to encourage safety and social distancing while the coronavirus grips the nation. Still, people on social media have mixed feelings about the mask situation, which was first reported by Fox News.
Some praise the supermarket for giving patrons a choice while others say not requiring masks is too risky.