Store mask guidelines: Giant Eagle, Walgreens, Target, Walmart and other retailers reveal new shopping rules

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(WJW) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle is no longer requiring masks or face coverings for full vaccinated team members and guests at its supermarkets and GetGo locations starting May 24.

“Those not fully vaccinated will continue to be required to wear a mask or other face covering while in-store. For those not fully vaccinated who are unable to wear a mask or other face covering, Giant Eagle’s online grocery ordering continues to be available with convenient curbside pickup and delivery options.”

Heinen’s
In a statement to FOX 8, Heinen’s said its leadership team is “actively working together to discuss this topic while keeping in mind the safety of our associates and customers.” The company will provide an update once one is available.

Home Depot
USA Today reports that Home Depot is not requiring masks for vaccinated customers.

Kroger

The company said, starting May 20, fully-vaccinated customers and most fully-vaccinated employees don’t need to wear a mask. Non-vaccinated customers are still being asked to please wear a mask; non-vaccinated employees will still be required to wear one. Read more, here.

Sam’s Club
USA Today reports vaccinated customers and members can shop without a mask. It’s requested that non-vaccinated customers and members wear masks in stores.

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.”

Trader Joe’s
The company on its website saysWe 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.”

Walgreens

Walgreens is no longer requiring fully vaccinated customers to wear face coverings inside of our stores, unless mandated by state or local regulations. Customers who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing face coverings. In addition, Walgreens team members who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear face covers while working, unless mandated by state and local regulations.   
 

Walmart
In a statement to FOX 8, 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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