The following article, Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s All End Mask Mandates Nationally, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s have all ended their national mask mandate requirements, but individual stores may continue the requirements.
The day after the CDC released its new guidelines for mask wearing for vaccinated people, Walmart changed its corporate policy to conform to the new guidelines by dropping the requirement for employees and customers who are vaccinated to wear masks.
Walmart’s announcement was contained in a memo to employees on Friday, stating, “customers can shop without a mask effectively immediately, and associates will not need to wear a mask to work starting Tuesday.”
Walmart added that in the coming days they will update their signage to reflect the new policy.
The company added:
Masks will also continue to be required by some city and state ordinances, and we will follow those requirements. There may also be local conditions, regulatory changes or laws that affect our guidance. We will be communicating with your local store, club or facility management team as regulations change so they can keep you informed.
Walmart did not release its plan on how it would determine if customers are vaccinated.
Walmart is not alone. Big box store Costco also pulled the trigger on masks.
Costco noted that its stores will also consider state regulations with its remastered mask policy.
“Based on this new guidance regarding vaccine effectiveness, beginning May 14, 2021, we are modifying our policy regarding face coverings in some U.S. Costco locations,” Craig Jelinek, president and CEO of Costco, stated in a press release Friday.
Jelinek added the “Centers for Disease Control recently announced new guidance regarding COVID-19 and vaccines,” which says customers who are fully vaccinated do not have “to wear a mask in most settings, except where required by state and local laws.”
The company added:
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.
In 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.
Finally, grocery store chain Trader Joe’s also lifted its mask mandates.
On its coronavirus webpage, the grocery store chain says “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.”
A spokesperson for the popular chain told the Hill that the mask requirement will remain in effect for employees. However, the Hill reports that new guidelines for “those who have been fully inoculated — defined as two weeks past the last required dose of a vaccine — won’t have to wear masks outdoors or indoors, and won’t have to maintain physical distancing.”
Trader Joe’s also told USA Today that it will remove senior hours from stores, except where it is a requirement.
It is likely that individual outlets of all three companies may keep mask mandates in place
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