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

National News

(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 stores 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.

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:

CVS
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.

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
CNN reports Starbucks will keep mask policies for now.

Target
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.”

Walgreens
CNN reports Walgreens is currently reviewing the updated guidelines.

Walmart
In a statement to WJW, Walmart said fully 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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