Publix orders employees to wear masks in store, regardless of vaccination status

New rule takes effect on Monday, Aug. 2

Publix now accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Publix is ordering its employees to return to wearing masks inside its stores regardless of their vaccination status, according to a spokesperson.

The new rule for employees is set to take effect on Monday, Aug. 2, the company said.

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“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance recommends that individuals in areas of substantial or high transmission risk wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when in public, indoor spaces.

Effective Aug. 2, Publix is requiring associates, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix location, and we encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We continue to encourage, but not require, our associates to get vaccinated,” read a statement from Publix.

The company had made masks optional for fully vaccinated shoppers in May. At the moment, it does not appear to be changing that policy.

Publix is not alone in reversing its masking policies. Guests at Disney World will have to wear masks again regardless of vaccination status starting Friday, according to the theme park’s website.

All Universal team members will be required to wear masks starting on Saturday, according to a spokeswoman with the theme park.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and private employer, is reversing its mask policy and will require all its workers including vaccinated ones in areas with high infection rates to wear masks.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.