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List: Houston-area businesses' mask policies now that the mask order has ended

Even though the statewide mandate has been lifted, masks will still be required inside Houston airports and other businesses around town.

HOUSTON — The statewide mask mandate is now lifted Texas businesses are free to reopen at full capacity.  Even so, many businesses are sticking with their current mask policies.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott to end statewide mask mandate, allow Texas businesses to open at 100%

RELATED: Here's what Houston-area school districts are doing with statewide mask order lifted

GROCERY STORES

ALDI

ALDI will continue requiring customers to wear face masks inside its stores, according to a company spokesperson.

The store implemented its most recent face mask policy on July 17, 2020.

ALDI released a statement, saying in part:

“For the health and well-being of the communities we serve and for the protection of our employees, we will maintain our current nationwide policy requiring all employees and customers to wear a face covering when shopping in our stores. We will continue to assess any new guidelines issued by the CDC, and will keep our customers informed of any future changes.”

H-E-B/CENTRAL MARKET

H-E-B says their mask policy will remain the same. In a release on Friday, 3/5, they said "Though statewide policy has changed, our store policy has not. We will continue to ask shoppers to be masked while in our stores. Additionally, we will still require all our Partners and vendors to wear masks while at work." 



KROGER



"Although the statewide mask mandate has been lifted in Texas, to ensure the safety of our customers and associates, Kroger will continue to follow health and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC by requiring all associates in our stores to wear a mask. We encourage all customers visiting our stores to continue to wear a mask to protect themselves, those around them, and our associates.

"We remind those who can’t wear masks that we offer low touch or no touch pickup and delivery services."

SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET

Sprouts Farmers Market will require customers to wear a face mask “in light of CDC recommendations," according to a store spokesperson. Face shields are also allowed.

Sprouts have face coverings available at the front of the stores for customers.

If a customer is medically unable to wear a face mask or face shield, he or she may contact your store to arrange a personal shopper, according to the Sprouts' COVID-19 policy on its website. A Sprouts team member will shop for your items and coordinate payment.

Additionally, customers unable to wear a face mask or face shield can get free curbside pickup.

TARGET

"We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children. We also require all store team members to wear masks at work and have provided them with reusable and disposable masks. Those who have been vaccinated for coronavirus are still required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines, in line with current CDC guidance."

RANDALLS

Randalls sent us the following updated statement. The earlier information from the grocer was that masks were encouraged for customers. In the updated statement, they were made mandatory.  

"The health and safety of everyone who walks through our doors is our top priority. Since the beginning of the pandemic, all our stores, including our Texas banners Albertsons, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets and Market Street have consistently followed the CDC’s guidance on masks for our associates, vendors, and customers. While we know that mask requirements have been controversial and polarizing across some of our operating areas, we also know that masks in combination with social distancing and proper cleaning and sanitization can work to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the State mandate will be lifted effective March 10, 2021, our front-line associates have not had full access to the vaccine. Subsequently, our stores and facilities in Texas will continue to require masks for associates, vendors, and customers regardless of the mask mandate being lifted. We will continue to look to the CDC’s recommendations to determine our safety practices and look forward to the vaccine being readily available not only to front line teams but to the general population in the coming months."

WALMART/SAM'S CLUB

Walmart did not release any updated guidance following Abbott's announcement.

According to the company's policy posted on their website on July 20, 2020, Walmart customers are required to wear a face mask.

The policy reads in part:

"We have seen that generally, customers have adopted new behaviors and take serious their personal responsibility to wear masks, practice social distancing and use our expanded hours to better spread traffic throughout the day, enabling us to provide them new options, like opening a second entrance and removing barriers at the front of our stores."

WHOLE FOODS

Whole Foods did not release any updated guidance following the announcement on Tuesday.

Masks are still required in Whole Foods, according to the most recent mask policy on July 20, 2020 from the store's website.

Employees are also offering customers gloves and personal face shields at the front of the stores, according to the website.

RESTAURANTS

MCDONALDS

McDonalds isn’t planning at this time to open any additional dining rooms at Texas locations. They also don’t plan to change any of their current COVID-19 safety protocols. The company will continue to monitor case trends and make adjustments as necessary.  

RED LOBSTER

 “Company policy requires employees to wear masks for the safety of our guests and fellow team members. Guests are encouraged to wear masks when not eating or drinking. Complimentary masks are available at the host stand. We appreciate your cooperation."

SONIC

"At this time, masks remain a uniform standard for all SONIC Drive-Ins, whether franchised or company-owned. Masks, along with all other COVID protocol, remain in place."

STARBUCKS

"Starbucks continues to focus on prioritizing the health and well-being of our partners and communities we serve, supporting health authorities and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of the virus. Based on guidance from the CDC and other public health experts, Starbucks will continue to require all partners and customers to wear a mask while inside our stores – continuing with the requirement we instituted in July 2020. We will continue to make decisions rooted in facts and science, and are committed to meeting or exceeding public health mandates."

WHATABURGER

“The health and safety of our customers and employees has always been our top priority. We’re aware there will no longer be a statewide mask mandate or capacity limit in Texas as of March 10, however, Whataburger will not be making any changes to our current safety protocols or social distancing practices. Face coverings will continue to be required by all Whataburger employees and we encourage our customers to wear them when visiting our restaurants.”

ATTRACTIONS

HOUSTON MUSEUM NATURAL SCIENCE

"HMNS will continue requiring the use of face masks for all staff members as well as all visitors upon entry at our Hermann Park and Sugar Land campuses." They will also continue current capacity requirements.

HOUSTON ZOO

"In an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our staff, guests, and animals, we will continue to require all persons 10 years and older to wear masks while on Zoo grounds. We will also continue timed ticketing entry & limiting capacity."

LIFE TIME FITNESS

"First, with this change, as of Wednesday, March 10 masks are no longer required in the club. Certainly, this is a personal decision and members can continue wearing a mask should they choose. Our Life Time Team Members will continue wearing masks at all times. Additionally, with the removal of social distancing requirements, on March 10 all amenities will again be available including access to all cardio and strength machines."

GYMS

24 HOUR FITNESS

There will be mask-free zones and mask-required zones so that people can make a choice where they would like to work out.  

YMCA OF GREATER HOUSTON

The YMCA mask policies will remain the same. They have those protocols here

TRAVEL

IAH AND HOBBY AIRPORTS

"George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports remain under a federal mask mandate. Passengers, two years and older, must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth."

METRO

Anyone on METRO vehicles or visting METRO properties including rail stations, transit centers and bus stops will continue to be required to wear a mask. A federal mask mandate issued for all public transit also requires masks be worn properly, fully covering the nose and mouth. Plastic face shields are not considered masks. METRO has had dozens of employees diagnosed with COVID-19 over the last year.

MISC

Email web@khou.com to let us know what your business is doing.

We will continue adding to this list as we hear from businesses. For businesses not on this list, your best bet is to contact the business directly.