Store mask guidelines: Aldi, Target, Walmart, Costco and other retailers reveal new shopping rules

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(WJW) — 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.

The new 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.

But are there any changes planned for retail stores and businesses when it comes to masking requirements?

Here’s a list of companies and what they plan to do:

Aldi

Aldi announced Tuesday, May 18 that vaccinated customers will no longer be required to wear masks in stores. May 26, employees who are vaccinated will also no longer be required to wear a face covering.

Costco

Based on this new guidance regarding vaccine effectiveness, beginning May 14, 2021, here is policy regarding face coverings in some U.S. Costco locations.

U.S. locations with no state or local mask requirements – revised policy
In Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does not have a mask mandate, we will allow members and guests who are fully vaccinated to enter Costco without a face mask or face shield. We will not require proof of vaccination, but we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy. Face coverings will still be required in healthcare settings, including Pharmacy, Optical, Hearing Aid. Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield.

U.S. locations with state or local mask requirements – no policy change
In those Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does have a mask mandate, we will follow the state or local regulations and continue to require members and guests to wear a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt. If a member or guest has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield.

CVS
CVS Pharmacy announced that effective May 17 customers who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings inside of our stores, unless it is mandated by state or local regulations. Customers who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing face coverings, and employees are required to do so while at work.

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

Kroger
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.

Starbucks
In a statement on its website, Starbucks said facial coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers unless local regulations require them by law.

Target
In a statement to FOX 8, Target said it will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in stores “except where it’s required by local ordinances. Face coverings will continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we’ll continue our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout our stores.”

Walgreens
CNN reports Walgreens is currently reviewing the updated guidelines.

Walmart
In a statement to FOX 8, Walmart saidfully vaccinated associates will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, May 18. 

Unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings, per CDC guidance. “We are also reviewing whether masks may still be required for certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes and will share additional guidance soonSome associates may choose to continue to wear masks, and as part of our value of respect for the individual, we should all support their right to do so,” Walmart said.

Beginning Friday, May 14, vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask. Walmart will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings.

“Masks will also continue to be required by some city and state ordinances, and we will follow those requirements,” Walmart’s statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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