Will Manitobans need a mask while grocery shopping?

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s new health orders will come into effect on Saturday and as part of the new orders, masks won’t be mandatory.

The province is still strongly recommending mask use and said businesses can still require masks. But will they be needed at grocery stores?

The majority of grocery stores in Manitoba will be following the footsteps of the province and lifting the mask mandate as well, at least for customers.

Walmart Canada said masks will not be needed for customers but employees will still need them.

“Masks will continue to be mandatory for all associates when in public facing areas as well as non-public facing areas of these facilities where a minimum two metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained,” a spokesperson said in an email to CTV News.

The spokesperson added extra steps to “support the well-being of our customers and associates” will continue to happen, such as increased cleaning, one-way aisles for physical distancing, Plexiglas dividers at registers, and limiting the number of customers where possible.

Those who shop at Sobeys, Safeway, and FreshCo will also not need to worry about a mask.

A spokesperson for Sobeys, which is the parent company of the other two stores, said it is following the advice from public health officials.

“We will, however, still be recommending the use of masks by staff and customers,” they said.

Additional safety measures will be in place throughout the stores similar to Walmart.

“Some of these measures will change (such as capacity limits) as public health guidelines are updated. However, some will likely remain long-term.”

Save-on-Foods will also not require masks for customers, but the company is recommending that those who aren’t fully vaccinated continue to wear masks.

“Please be assured that the health and safety of our team members and customers remains our top priority,” a spokesperson said.

CTV Winnipeg will update this story as additional grocery store chains release their plans.

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