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LAKELAND, Fla. – Most employees at Publix supermarkets no longer have to wear masks if they are fully vaccinated, the grocery store chain announced Monday.

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Publix Super Markets Inc. announced the policy change on its website on Monday, citing the decrease of COVID-19 and the wider availability of obtaining a vaccine.

“Fully vaccinated associates have the option not to wear face coverings beginning Feb. 14, 2022, unless required for their job duties or by a state or local order or ordinance,” the notice stated. “Pharmacy associates, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to wear face coverings when administering vaccines.

>> Publix makes face-coverings optional for fully vaccinated shoppers

Publix does not require customers to wear face coverings in its stores, according to WFTS-TV. However, the store noted on its website that customers are “encouraged to do their part” to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In May 2021, Publix made masks optional for fully vaccinated shoppers.

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