SAN ANTONIO — Customers who shop at H-E-B are no longer required to wear face masks.
That news comes with a reminder, however, that the grocery giant strongly encourages all customers to do so. Also, H-E-B told KENS 5, it's not changing its policy for its employees and vendors.
"We still require all partners and vendors in our stores to wear masks. For customers, we have continued to follow all local ordinances and highly encourage customers to wear masks, but will not deny entry," H-E-B spokesperson, Julie Bedingfield said. "Governor Abbott reminded us all a few weeks ago that wearing masks saves lives and we agree."
In a statement released by H-E-B, the store pointed to the Centers for Disease Control's recommendations - along with the state of Texas and local health officials' advice that people should use masks or facial coverings in public spaces.
"We wear masks to keep each other and our families safe. Social distancing, wearing masks, proper hand washing and sanitization are all things we do to help keep Texas healthy," Bedingfield said.
On April 16, San Antonio city officials mandated that all residents 10 years of age and older wear a cloth face covering in public setting, as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Weeks later, the state said local governments can't make the wearing of masks mandatory, and those without one can't be penalized with a fine or jail time.
On May 16, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg reminded people that face masks are essential in spreading the virus.
"People have to take it seriously," Nirenberg said. "If they don't, what we will likely see is a spread of this virus and an acceleration in cases — and an acceleration in the number of deaths in this community," Nirenberg said.