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Photo: Scott Dalton/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some retailers across the U.S. will continue requiring masks in stores, despite new coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxing mask mandates for fully vaccinated people.

The latest: Starbucks announced that masks will be "optional" for fully vaccinated customers starting May 17 "unless local regulations require them by law." Employees will still be required to wear face coverings and restrooms will remain closed to the public in stores where indoor seating is not available.

  • Walmart also announced fully vaccinated customers will not be required to wear masks. Face coverings will become optional for vaccinated employees starting May 18, and the company will offer workers a $75 bonus for getting inoculated.

The big picture: While the CDC said it made the recommendation "based on a body of evidence and what the science tells us," some experts say that the risk of infection in indoor venues remains a threat for unvaccinated people.

The state of play: Target, Macy's, Kroger, Publix and Home Depot are among those that are still requiring masks to be worn and have not updated their virus policies, according to Insider.

  • Other retailers like CVS, Walgreens and Gap are in the process of evaluating the guidance and reviewing whether they will change their rules, per Insider.

The other side: Trader Joe's updated its policies and said it will not be requiring fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks and wants customers to follow CDC recommendations.

What they're saying: "We’re not going to know who’s vaccinated and who’s not so I don’t expect it to be different when you go to the grocery store," Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Axios’ Marisa Fernandez.

  • "I expect the grocery stores are still going to want people to wear masks because they can’t possibly ask people, 'are you vaccinated are you not?' We don’t have an easy way to prove vaccination status."

The bottom line: "We urge all retail customers and guests to follow a store’s safety protocols including wearing a mask and social distancing," said Lisa Bruno, a senior executive vice president for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, per the Post.

Go deeper: New CDC mask guidance tests risk tolerance

Go deeper

Aug 23, 2021 - Health

U.K. launching COVID antibody surveillance program

University Hospital Monklands staff check the medical notes of a COVID-19 patient in February, Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The British government announced Sunday that it's launching a national surveillance program to measure antibodies in people who test positive for COVID-19.

Why it matters: The U.K. Health Security Agency said in a statement that its program would improve understanding of immunity and the protection provided by antibodies generated following coronavirus infection and vaccination.

Aug 21, 2021 - World

India approves world's first DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

India's drug regulator on Friday granted emergency approval to the world's first DNA-based coronavirus vaccine.

Driving the news: The three-dose, needle-free vaccine was developed by pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila. The company added that it is also the first vaccine to be approved in the country for teens between the ages of 12 and 18.

Updated Aug 23, 2021 - Health

PM extends New Zealand lockdown, says elimination goal "absolutely" right

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a COVID-19 response update at Parliament on Saturday in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Robert Kitchin/Pool/Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that New Zealand's pandemic elimination strategy was working, as she announced an extension to the nationwide lockdown due to a growing COVID-19 Delta outbreak.

Why it matters: NZ locked down last Tuesday after detecting the first community case in nearly six months — marking the arrival of the Delta variant in the island nation. The cluster has grown to 107 cases, with 35 more people testing positive for the virus Monday.