This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says customers will not be required to wear masks in retail settings when stores are permitted to reopen from the coronavirus shutdown on May 12.

While it is not a mandate, it remains a strong recommendation, the governor said during his news conference on Tuesday. He said the original order was intended to protect store workers, especially since so many carrying the virus are asymptomatic.

“So it’s for the protection of these employees, the people that are serving us every day,” DeWine said. “It gives added protection to others. When you wear a mask, you protect those around you from setting sick.”

**Read more on Gov. DeWine’s plan to reopen Ohio**

DeWine said he received a lot of feedback, some concerned about loved ones working in stores and others who considered required masks “offensive.” He also spoke to the mother of a young boy with autism and the difficulties of getting him to wear a mask.

DeWine said businesses can still require customers to wear masks or face coverings.

According to the governor’s office, face coverings will still be mandated for employees, except when it’s not advisable by a healthcare professional, goes against industry best practices or is not permitted by federal or state law.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has frequently referred to masks as another layer of Swiss cheese, which combined with social distancing and the stay-at-home order, offer more protection from COVID-19.