Texas Gov. Greg Abbott eased statewide rules on masks at the beginning of May, but many city officials continue to strongly recommend Texans to wear masks when they are out in public.
Grocery stores are doing the same. Whole Foods and Costco have official requirements for shoppers to wear masks. Other stores, including H-E-B, Walmart and Trader Joe’s, are reiterating their recommendation that shoppers use facial coverings.
H-E-B still "strongly encourages the use of masks or facial coverings by all our customers in all stores," it said in a statement on Tuesday. "H-E-B requires the use of masks or facial coverings by all our partners and vendors in customer facing and close contact positions."
Austin city officials have also continued to urge citizens to wear masks whenever they were out of the house, and as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the state’s largest grocer asked shoppers for their assistance "to keep the vigilance high for mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands and extensive sanitation."
In early May, Costco introduced a mask requirement that remains in effect.
"Costco employees are required to wear face coverings, and now we are asking that Costco members do so too," president and CEO Craig Jelinek said in a statement. "We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience. This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face covering protects not just the wearer, but others too."
Whole Foods is also continuing to request that all customers wear masks while shopping in stores, and the store is providing masks to people who do not have their own face covering.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect H-E-B's position on face coverings. Store officials said the grocer has never had an official facial covering requirement but complies with state and local orders.