Harmons Wants You To Know Masks Will Still Be Required, Even After Mandate Expires
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Legislature recently passed a bill that puts an expiration date on the state’s mask mandate.
The legislation lifts requirements for face coverings in public spaces beginning April 10, a move that resulted in Gov. Spencer Cox pushing up the date of vaccine eligibility in an attempt to get more people immunized before masks comes off.
However, face coverings can still be mandatory inside Utah businesses if the business so chooses. Cox made it clear during a recent COVID-19 update that business owners have that right.
Harmons announced that it will continue to require masks inside all its stores, sending an email to its customers saying that “wearing is caring.”
“It only makes sense for us to continue to see this through to the end,” Harmons CEO and president Mark Jensen told Deseret News. “We really believe our customers want us to do that, too.”
Harmons first implemented mask requirements in its stores in July 2020.
Nationally, other chains have stated that mask policies will remain in place even if states drop the requirements.
Target is one such store that has noted it will continue to ask customers to cover their faces. The company made the announcement shortly after Texas’ governor announced masks would no longer be mandatory in the Lone Star State
Similarly, Smith’s mask policy is also still active. USA Today reports that Kroger, which owns Smith’s, will continue to require masks in all its stores across the country until its frontline workers have all received the COVID-19 vaccine.
For now, many other stores are also continuing to require face masks – or at least they haven’t expressly noted that face coverings would no longer be required after April 10.
Walmart’s policy, for instance, began making masks mandatory for shoppers on July 20, 2020. That policy remains in place.
Costco, too, has not changed its policy of requiring members to wear either a face mask or a face shield.
Cox said if a business’s policy on face coverings is unfavorable to a patron, that patron is free to take their business elsewhere.
“If you go into a business and they are requiring you to wear masks, wear masks,” he said. “Don’t yell at the clerk. Don’t yell at the store manager. Don’t make a fool of yourself because you don’t want to wear a mask.”
“If you don’t like it, go shop somewhere else,” he added. “You don’t need to be a jerk to people that you come in contact with.”
Deseret News’ Lisa Riley Roche contributed to this report.
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