Target ends mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, joining Walmart, Starbucks and more

Target has dropped its mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, joining with Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Costco and other businesses.

Target’s updated mask policy starts Monday for customers and employees, but the retailer still strongly recommends unvaccinated customers and employees wear masks. And customers who live in areas that have state or local mask requirements may still have to wear them – regardless of vaccination status. 

“Given the CDC’s updated guidance last week, Target will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in our stores, except where it’s required by local ordinances,” the retailer said in a statement Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new masking guidelines Thursday and said that fully vaccinated Americans, for the most part, no longer need to wear masks indoors and don’t have to wear masks outdoors, even in crowded spaces.

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Retailers are dropping masks: Walmart, Starbucks, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Publix no longer require masks for vaccinated customers

“Face coverings will continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we’ll continue our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout our stores,” Target said.

Target started requiring masks at stores nationwide Aug. 1, which was later than most retailers.

But when initially announcing the mask requirement on July 16, Target said more than 80% of Target’s stores already required face coverings due to local and state regulations.

Privately-owned businesses can still require masks, which most of the nation’s largest retailers started mandating last summer. There are other exceptions for when the CDC recommends masks such as in health care settings, transportation hubs such as airports and stations, planes and public transportation.

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