Walmart, Costco Among Stores Dropping Mask Mandates for Vaccinated Customers

Posted: May 14, 2021 10:45 PM
Walmart, Costco Among Stores Dropping Mask Mandates for Vaccinated Customers

Source: (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that masks will not be needed in most situations moving forward to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, several stores have softened their stances on mask mandates for the vaccinated.

Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe's are among the stores allowing both customers and workers to enter the store maskless if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. However, they are not requiring proof of vaccination to enter the store without a mask.

Costco will still require masks to be worn in its healthcare sections, which include pharmacy, optical and hearing aid departments.

As Walmart noted in their statement, according to Business Insider, stores are still subject to restrictions put in place by local and state governments.

However, not all store headquarters are on board with the new CDC guidelines. Macy's, Target and Starbucks are among those that will maintain mask requirements for customers and employees, even if they have been fully vaccinated. 

Other stores, such as Kroger and CVS, are not adamant about keeping mask requirements but have yet to lift the mandate. 

A spokesperson for the grocery store chain told Insider:

As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC's latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy.

Publix and Ulta told Insider they are awaiting further guidance and are assessing the situation before making any changes to their rules relating to COVID-19.

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GAP told The New York Times that it is reviewing its policy on mask mandates but did not confirm whether there would be a change coming.