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As More Chains Require Masks, 2 Exceptions Make Headlines

Dollar Tree, Winn-Dixie won't mandate that customers wear them
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2020 4:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – On Friday, budget grocery store Aldi announced masks would be required to enter its stores as of July 27. Two other budget shops are moving in the other direction. USA Today reports Dollar Tree and Family Dollar—which both fall under the Dollar Tree, Inc., umbrella—have reversed course on their own mask mandate. Forbes reports that just 8 days after their July 8 mask requirement went into effect, the company apparently "quietly backtracked" via an update to its website that Forbes notes was not publicized. Dollar Tree policy now "requests" masks in stores in those places where they are not required by state or local law. Its employees will continue to wear masks.

Supermarket chain Winn-Dixie is being more public about its decision to not mandate that its customers wear masks in its 550 stores. A rep for parent company Southeastern Grocers in a weekend email explained that "our associates have seen that mask mandates are a highly charged issue with our customers. We do not want to put our associates in a position to navigate interpersonal conflict or prohibit customers from shopping in our stores." The Washington Post reports the reaction on Twitter has been just as highly charged, with some praising the store for upholding shoppers' "freedom" while another person quipped, "Enjoy your Grim Reaper special." But the email makes clear what the chain does want to see, per CBS News: that state and federal governments "remove the challenging burden of enforcement from front-line employees and make masks mandatory by law." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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