Kroger stores will require all customers in all stores to wear a face mask starting Wednesday, July 22.
The change is in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, Kroger said.
“We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country,” the company said.
Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kroger said there are three actions that have been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Besides wearing a face covering, they include frequent hand washing and social distancing (generally staying at least six feet away from people outside your home).
Kroger said small children are exempt from the mask requirement.
The company said it acknowledges that some customers might not be able to wear masks for medical reasons.
“We encourage those customers to consider an alternative option like a face shield or facial covering,” Kroger said. “If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our e-commerce services like pickup or delivery.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger has made its grocery pickup service free. It’s normally $4.95.