Trader Joe’s relaxes mask mandate for vaccinated customers. Here’s the current policy at several other chains


(WJW) — Operators of the Trader Joe’s grocery chain changed their COVID-19 policy to remove the mask mandate for vaccinated customers.

The alteration to the chain’s online policy reads, “We encourage customers to follow the guidance of health officials, including, as appropriate, CDC guidelines that advise customers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while shopping.”

The change does not supersede whatever local regulations may be in place.

CNN Business reports that the chain does not plan to require proof of vaccination from customers prior to entry. Many existing policies at the story will remain in place, including regular wellness screenings for store employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

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The new CDC guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

As of Friday, here’s where several major chains stand when it comes to masking requirements:

CNN reports a spokesperson for CVS said the chain is reevaluating its in-store policy, which currently requires customers and employees to wear masks. It is reviewing the relaxed guidelines.

Home Depot
CNN reports Home Depot will continue to require masks for employees and customers.

Business Insider reports Kroger will also keep mask requirements in place for its customers and workers. The chain is also reviewing safety practices and the CDC’s guidance.

CNN reports Starbucks will keep mask policies for now.

In a statement to Nexstar’s WJW, Target said it “will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests.”

CNN reports Walgreens is currently reviewing the updated guidelines.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a statement from Walmart said it will continue to require that associates and customers wear masks and that the measures would not be lifted. The company also said, however, it is reconsidering its mask policies in light of the relaxed guidelines.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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