May 17, 2021 - Economy

Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance

Illustration of a face mask flying away from a grocery bag

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A growing list of large retailers has begun to ease mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers, after the CDC issued guidance last week saying vaccinated people can do most activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

Driving the news: Target and CVS Pharmacy on Monday were among the latest to update policies to allow fully vaccinated guests in their stores without face coverings, unless it is required by local law.

  • CVS will still require employees to wear masks while at work.

Worth noting: Target is also "providing paid time to U.S. hourly team members when they get their vaccines" as well as offering free Lyft rides, up to $15 each way, for their workers to drive to and from their vaccine appointments.

State of play: Face coverings will become optional for vaccinated Walmart employees starting Tuesday. The retailer, which was among the first to remove its mask requirement for customers, announced it will offer workers a $75 bonus if they show their completed vaccine cards to a store leader.

  • Walmart will let employees work without a mask if they answer “yes” to being inoculated during a daily health assessment, since "integrity" is one of their core values.

Some stores, including Gap, Home Depot, Walgreens, Ulta Beauty, Carl's Jr., Ikea, JCPenny and Apple still require masks, according to Business Insider.

  • Starbucks, Costco, Trader Joe’s and Publix have already removed their mask mandates, CNBC notes.

Go Deeper: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance

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