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Texan Retailers Push Back Against the Termination of Mask Mandate

Credit: Unsplash

Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared in a public address that the state would terminate its mandate on masks and allow all businesses to operate at full capacity. Abbott’s decision faced immediate opposition from Texas residents and others who argue that it is premature to relax COVID-19 safety measures. Health experts have voiced concerns, warning that abandoning mask-wearing in Texas could lead to a resurgence of the virus. Despite Abbott’s announcement, many retailers across the nation have chosen to uphold mask policies regardless of government mandates.

Leading retailers such as Kroger, Target, and Walgreens have affirmed that they will continue to follow the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control, and thus will still mandate face coverings for both staff and customers within their stores.

Walgreens’ spokesperson stated in an email, “There are no changes to our current mask mandate policy or safety protocols in place at our stores or facilities to safeguard our customers and employees. We are adhering to the latest CDC and OSHA guidelines on safety protocols.”

A representative from CVS Health mentioned, “If a customer is not wearing a mask, we will guide them to our signage and encourage them to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask, following expert advice. For safety, our employees are instructed to avoid escalating conflicts with non-compliant customers and to facilitate their purchases quickly.”

Small business owners in Texas have echoed these sentiments, prioritizing the safety of themselves and their establishments. Humbelina Gonzales, a volunteer at a thrift store, stated to CNN, “It’s too early for this. If someone refuses to wear a mask, they will not be allowed entry. That’s my stance.”

Mike Nguyen, a restaurant owner in San Antonio, expressed concerns about Abbott’s decision, saying, “He has shifted the responsibility onto businesses, which may lead to conflicts in the future.”

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