Yesterday, July 16, 2020 Publix Supermarkets announced it will begin requiring customers to wear face masks beginning on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Regardless if there is a government mandate requiring masks to be worn, the company has made this a requirement for shopping in their stores.
“With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to grow and current CDC guidance indicating face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19, we believe requiring face coverings in our stores is another way we can do our part to help protect our communities,” said Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous.
Signs announcing the new requirement will be posted at store entrances, and in-store announcements will be made. This requirement will not apply to young children and those with medical conditions who cannot wear face coverings. Publix encourages those who cannot wear face coverings to consider using Publix Delivery and/or Curbside Pickup.
Besides requiring face coverings, Publix previously implemented several process changes in their stores, including:
- increased sanitation efforts through frequent and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces like carts, door handles, PIN pads, ATMs and vending machines, using a disinfection cleaner before every store opens and throughout the day.
- reduced store hours to allow extra time for store cleaning and preventive sanitation.
- implemented contactless pay in all stores, allowing customers to pay by placing their smartphones or contactless pay-enabled credit or debit cards near a payment device rather than touching the PIN pad.
- installed plexiglass shields at all registers, and pharmacies to better protect both associates and customers.
- implemented one-way shopping on each aisle to help with customer traffic flow.
- initiated intercom announcements to remind customers to follow one-way shopping and maintain the recommended 6-foot distance between themselves, Publix associates and other shoppers.
- provided store managers discretion to limit the number of customers inside stores. Stores under state or local ordinance to limit shoppers will continue to follow those guidelines.
- provided store associates with masks to wear while at work and the option to wear non-latex plastic gloves.