GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Meijer has updated its policy about masks, saying that fully vaccinated customers now do not have to wear them in its stores.
In a Monday announcement, the West Michigan-based grocery giant said customers who are not fully vaccinated should keep wearing masks. Workers are going to keep wearing them for now, too, while Meijer figures out what’s required under workplace safety rules.
“Starting today, fully vaccinated customers may shop without a face covering where allowed under state or local law. Non-vaccinated customers must continue to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores, except where medical conditions prevent them from wearing one. Our team members will still be required to wear face coverings while we evaluate regulatory requirements.“Meijer
It’s a change from a Friday statement that said mask mandates in all Meijer stores were still in effect.
At the Meijer off the East Beltline in northeast Grand Rapids Monday, some customers said they would keep wearing their masks despite the new rules, while others said they were ditching them for good.
“I probably will continue to wear it essentially as a model. I have grandkids who are not vaccinated so that so I worry about that,” shopper Robert Makemo said.
Another shopper, Susan Nelson, said she wasn’t prepared to let her guard down yet, so she would keep wearing her mask.
Shopper Brenda Trudell, who said she hasn’t been wearing a mask throughout the pandemic because she can’t breathe with it on, said some people have approached her about it.
“It’s kind of uncomfortable,” she said. “I don’t really like being approached by people and told what to do.”
Jack DeWaard, who recently got his first dose of the vaccine, welcomed the news of the updated policy.
“I think it’s awesome … that we don’t have to wear any masks anymore,” he said. “It’s been a burden for a while, pretty annoying.”
Late last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance, saying fully vaccinated people didn’t have to wear masks indoors in most situations. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services followed suit, saying people who are two weeks out from their final dose can go without a mask unless their workplace or a business requires it.
Under the latest MDHHS rules, no one — vaccinated or not vaccinated — has to wear a mask outdoors. The state is already planning to sunset all mask requirements July 1.
Walmart and Target have also said fully vaccinated customers don’t have to wear masks in their stores.
While Meijer stores are traditionally open 24 hours, a spokesperson told News 8 Monday that they are maintaining shorter adjusted hours for now. There is no word on a timetable for when the chain may resume 24-hour service.