CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and most indoor settings.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
Despite the latest guidelines, some retail stores and businesses are continuing their mask mandates to ensure the safety of customers and employees. Others like Walmart and Costco have dropped their mandates.
Here’s the latest on major U.S. stores:
“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,” Walmart said in a letter to employees.
The company acknowledged that some city and state ordinances will still require masks. In addition, employees who are fully vaccinated will be able to stop wearing masks on Tuesday.
Employees of the stores will also get a $75 bonus for getting vaccinated.
Costco released a new mask policy on Friday:
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.
As with Walmart and Sam’s Club, if there is a state or local mask requirement, the store will continue to require masks.
The home improvement giant told NewsNation it will keep mask mandates in place for now.
Kroger said Friday it is keeping its mask requirements in place for its customers and workers.
“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” the company said in a statement.
In a statement, a Giant Eagle spokesperson said “as we actively evaluate the shifts in state and CDC guidance, we will continue to require anyone working or shopping in our stores to wear a mask or face covering.”
“As a destination for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, we have decided to keep our current face-covering policy in place for the time being,” Walgreens said In a statement to NewsNation. “The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority and will continue to guide our decision process.”
In a statement to NewsNation, Target said it “will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests.”
“We encourage 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,” the grocery chain said on its website.
The company told NewsNation in a statement that it will continue to require masks.
“As a result of the recently updated U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, Publix will no longer require fully vaccinated associates or customers to wear face coverings, unless required by a state or local order or ordinance, beginning May 15. 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 company said in a statement on their website.
Disney World will no longer require masks in outdoor common areas or pool decks, but will require them for “entering and throughout all attractions, theaters and transportation,” the resort said in an update to their website.
Universal Orlando announced face coverings will not be required outside, but will be for all attractions and indoor locations.
As more companies get back to NewsNation, we will update this article.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.