Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe's, Disney World drop some mask requirements, others reviewing guidance
Category: News & PoliticsVia: vic-eldred • one month ago • 33 comments
By: Audrey Conklin (Fox Business)
Major retailers are moving to drop or review COVID-19 mask mandates after the Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Trader Joe's updated its COVID-19 guidance Friday, saying those who are fully vaccinated — meaning they have waited to two weeks after getting their second shots — can enter the grocery stores without masks in light of the news.
"We will trust our customers and not request or require proof of vaccination," a Trader Joe's spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement when asked whether the grocery store will require customers to show vaccination documentation.
Publix announced Friday that it will no longer require fully vaccinated customers or associates to wear masks in line with the CDC unless required by state or local mandates.
"In accordance with CDC guidelines, individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to use face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix store," the grocery store chain said in a press release.
Shoppers make their way through Costco in Idaho Falls, Idaho during its opening day on Friday, August 14, 2020. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP)
Costco will not require masks for fully vaccinated customers to wear masks indoors, aside from indoor health care settings, in places with no local mask requirements.
"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," a Friday letter to members reads.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, will no longer require visitors to wear masks in outdoor areas starting Saturday after Orange County lifted some COVID-19 restrictions earlier this week.
"Please bring your own face coverings and wear them in all indoor locations, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary and maintaining appropriate physical distancing," Disney World's updated COVID-19 guidelines read. "Face coverings are optional in outdoor common areas at Walt Disney World Resort, but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters and transportation."
Guests wear masks at Disney's Animal Kingdom during an annual passholder preview Thursday, July 9, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kathleen Christiansen/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Walmart and Sam's Club issued new guidance on Monday for employees in "all facilities, including our stores, clubs, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and offices."
"…Based on the latest CDC guidance, fully vaccinated associates will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, May 18," the company's website says.
Target, CVS, Gap, Macy's, Ulta and Walgreens are reviewing the CDC's new guidance as they consider their mask policies, according to reports.
Home Depot, Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Whole Foods are still requiring masks for everyone.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced during a Thursday White House COVID-19 press briefing that people who have received both vaccine doses need not wear masks indoors or outdoors or physically distance themselves from others.
Fully vaccinated individuals are still advised to wear masks while in crowded indoor settings such as while on public transportation and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, according to the CDC.
Immunocompromised individuals should consult a physician before giving up masks, Walensky said Thursday, warning that if the country's case counts go back up the guidance could change.
Other large retail stores including Target, CVS, Home Depot and Harris Teeter still require customers to wear masks as they review the new CDC guidance, according to reports.
The move from Trader Joe's represents a shift toward pre-pandemic-style life as more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 cases drop across the country.