Kroger lifts mask policy for fully vaccinated customers starting Thursday

Despite the change in restrictions, Kroger said you will still have to keep your mask on in the store.

UPDATE-(1:30 p.m.)

Kroger is making some changes to its store mask policy.

The retail company announced on Wednesday that starting Thursday, fully vaccinated customers and associates will no longer need to wear a mask in its stores.

Last week, the store first announced that it would not be adhering to CDC’s new guidance that says fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors. However, the company said that after listening to feedback and the valued opinions of thousands of associates regarding the CDC’s announcement, it decided to update its mask policy in a way that balances the company’s values of safety and respect.

Here’s a look at the store’s new mask policy:

  • Starting May 20, fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated associates no longer need to wear a mask in our facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices, unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction. If there is a state or local mandate, we will adhere to that requirement and its timeline.
  • Non-vaccinated associates will be required to wear a mask.
  • Associates in our pharmacy and clinic locations will be required to continue wearing a mask due to the CDC’s guidance for healthcare settings.
  • We request that non-vaccinated customers continue to wear a mask.
  • And we will continue to respect the choice of individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask.

“We will continue to implement enhanced cleaning and physical distancing across all facilities as well as offer associates a $100 one-time payment for receiving the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the Kroger spokesperson said. “We also encourage customers to visit to make an appointment. Many pharmacies are also accepting walk-in appointments for added convenience.”


After the CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors, people have been wanting to know where they still need to wear masks.

At 12 a.m. Saturday, Virginia’s mask mandate will no longer be in effect; however, that doesn’t mean you can destroy every mask you’ve worn in the past year.

As some states have already gone ahead with lifting mask mandates, companies are now having to decide how they’ll proceed.

The Kroger Company, which operates Kroger, Harris Teeter and a number of other supermarkets said it will continue to require masks at its locations across the nation.

The company released the following statement on Friday:

At this time, The Kroger Family of Companies continues to require everyone in our stores to wear masks. We are encouraging and incentivizing associate vaccinations by offering a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy.

Additionally, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing as well as consider the use of no-touch grocery.


A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Kroger's policy wouldn't change until Friday

About the Authors:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.