After a backlash, H-E-B has clarified their mask policy saying they "expect" customers to wear masks while inside their stores.

According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, when Gov. Abbott lifted the mask mandate last week, H-E-B said they would require their employees and vendors to wear a mask and urge all customers to do the same.

The company released a statement on Friday, March 5, 2021 to reiterate it's mask policy:

"While statewide policy has changed, our store protocol has not," H-E-B said in their statement. "Mask use at our stores will remain. Our signs requiring mask use will remain posted at entrances and we will continue to make announcements in store. We will continue to expect shoppers to wear masks while in our stores. Additionally, we will still require all our partners and vendors to wear masks while at work."

Officials with H-E-B said they will also be handing out masks to customers without one and encourage them to wear it but will not escalate the situation if they refuse.

"What's important to me is, I've got to ensure for the physical safety of both my employees and customers in the store," said Scott McClelland, President of H-E-B. "That's what we have been doing, and frankly it's the same thing we'll continue to do."

"As Texans helping Texans, let’s continue to protect each other while in our stores," H-E-B wrote in a statement, "let’s keep wearing masks, to protect yourself, our fellow Texans, and our dedicated partners who are committed to helping our communities throughout this pandemic and every other crisis this state may face."

I will be wearing a mask after the mandate is lifted as long as the CDC and medical officials say that it is necessary to stop the spread.

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