Food City: Fully vaccinated customers, employees can forego masks in stores starting May 20

Local Coronavirus Coverage

ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Food City will no longer require customers and workers who are fully vaccinated to wear face coverings starting this week.

Starting Thursday, May 20, Food City employees who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to wear masks while working, according to a statement from the company.

However, if state or local laws continue to require face coverings, employees must adhere to them.

Food City associates who have been fully vaccinated “will have a vaccination logo displayed on their name badge,” according to the release.

“It’s fully voluntary. Our team of Human Relations Coordinators will verify covid-19 vaccination cards for those willing to participate who are fully vaccinated,” said Steve Smith, the company’s CEO during a video announcement Monday. “They will be issued a vaccination logo to place on their name badge that they’ll be wearing. Customers can see that.

Customers who are fully vaccinated are also “welcome to shop without their masks,” starting Thursday.

Anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated or would prefer to continue wearing a mask should continue to use face coverings, according to the statement.

“We understand there’s going to be certain people that have medical conditions or situations that prevent them from wearing a mask… and we’re not going to be the ‘mask police’,” Smith said. “Our job is to provide a safe shopping environment for both our associates and our customers.”

“We will continue to encourage social distancing and provide hand sanitizer, cart wipes and enhanced cleaning procedures in all of our stores,” Food City said in the statement.

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