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Dollar Tree, Family Dollar reverse decision to require masks at all stores, but 'request' customers wear them

Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY

UPDATE: Dollar Tree and Family Dollar updated the mask policy again. Here's the latest story.

While more states and a growing number of retailers are requiring shoppers wear masks, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have reversed course.

The two retailers, both part of Dollar Tree Inc., had initially started requiring shoppers wear masks along with vendors and employees in stores, according to a July 8 update on its coronavirus updates page

But the company updated its mask policy last week to "request" face coverings in stores where state and local ordinances are not in effect at the same time the nation's largest retailers were announcing new mask mandates, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger.

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores will still require face coverings where required by state or local ordinance, the current policy reads.

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"In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are requiring all Associates and vendors to wear face coverings when inside our stores," the retailers' latest policy states. "We also request that our customers wear face coverings, and require face coverings where required by state or local ordinance."

Randy Guiler, vice president of investor relations, told USA TODAY that the company did not have a comment beyond its policy.

As of May 2, the company says it operated 15,370 stores across 48 states and in Canada.

Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie, BI-LO and Harveys Supermarkets, announced Monday it would require masks starting July 27. The company previously said its stores weren't mandating face coverings during the pandemic to avoid "undue friction" between customers and staffers.

Contributing: Dalvin Brown

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Family Dollar mask policy: Dollar Tree, Family Dollar reverse mandate