Do you still have to wear a mask while shopping? What 25 companies are telling customers

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can resume activities without masks, except as required by state and local laws, workplaces and businesses. That’s where it gets complicated.

(Photo credit: Getty Images).
(Photo credit: Getty Images).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s landmark announcement last week that fully vaccinated individuals can begin to ditch their masks indoors left a lot of leeway for states and localities and private businesses to be the ultimate decision-makers on where customers can go maskless. 

Here’s what 25 retailers are telling consumers, as of Monday afternoon. 

Big box

Walmart and Sam’s Club
“Vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask, and we will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs. We will update the signage in our facilities to reflect this.”

Fully vaccinated sales associates will receive a $75 bonus and will not need to wear masks starting on Tuesday.

Target
“Target will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in our 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.”

Costco
“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...Face coverings will still be required in healthcare settings, including pharmacy, optical, [and] hearing aid. Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield.”

“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.”

Dollar General
“[W]e currently require all employees, vendors and customers to wear facial coverings in stores, distribution centers and corporate offices. Customer and vendor exceptions include situations where wearing a mask is not recommended due to age, a health or medical condition, or is otherwise exempted by state or local order.”

Department stores

Macy’s
“Macy’s is requiring all customers to wear a facial covering while shopping in our stores to respect their fellow shoppers and the colleagues that serve them.”

Bloomingdale’s
“We have put several safeguards in place in accordance with state guidelines and the CDC…[including] mask requirements at all times for employees and customers.”

Nordstrom
“We’re taking some time to evaluate the new CDC mask guidelines and what it may mean for our employees and customers. In the meantime, we will ask our employees and customers to continue to wear masks.”

JCPenney
“Masks are required in store.”

Kohl’s
“As of May 17, fully vaccinated customers are welcome to shop with or without a mask. We will continue to strongly recommend that non-vaccinated customers and associates wear masks in our stores. We will continue to follow city and state ordinances where masks continue to be required.”

Drug stores

CVS
“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.”

Walgreens
“We require team members in our stores to wear face covers and continue to take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, [Occupational Safety and Health Administration], public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories...

“Also consistent with CDC guidelines, customers are required to wear face covers before entering the store except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.

Rite Aid
“Rite Aid requires customers to wear face coverings in all locations...If a customer does not have a face covering, Rite Aid will provide one free of charge.”

Grocery stores

Trader Joe’s
On Friday, USA Today reported that “Trader Joe's is one of the first stores to drop mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers after CDC mask update.”

Kroger
“We are requiring all customers in all locations wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks.”

Albertsons
“We believe face coverings are an important tool in the fight against COVID and will encourage our customers to wear coverings while in our stores, while continuing to ensure our associates are not at risk while engaged in conversations regarding customer face coverings.”

Whole Foods
All Whole Foods Market team members, Prime Now shoppers and third-party workers are required to wear face masks while working...Whole Foods Market requires all customers to wear face coverings while shopping in our stores.”

Fast food and coffee

Starbucks
“[F]acial coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, unless local regulations require them by law.”

McDonald’s
“[Employees] are wearing masks or face coverings, and gloves, and making masks available for customers in municipalities where they are required.”

Chick-fil-A
“All team members are required to wear face coverings inside the restaurant at all times. However, restaurant team members working outdoors, including in the drive-thru, are not required to wear face coverings.”

Home improvement

Home Depot
“Customers are required to wear masks while in stores. Small children or those who have a valid medical rationale will not be required to wear a mask.”

Lowe’s
“We are making masks and gloves available to all associates in the workplace who want them...In our stores, we enhanced our social distancing protocols.”

Tech and telecom

Apple
Face masks will be required for all of our teams and customers while visiting an Apple Store, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own.”

Verizon
“Customers are required to wear face coverings inside our stores.”

AT&T
“Masks are required to be worn by employees, customers and visitors in our stores and will be provided to customers who need them.”

Best Buy
“Everyone is required to wear a face covering so we can help protect each other. We will supply a face covering if you don’t have one. Small children and those unable to wear one for health reasons may enter without one.”

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