Target, CVS and Starbucks mask update policy for vaccinated customers
Shoppers wear protective masks at a Target Corp store. in New York, United States on Saturday, August 15, 2020. Target is expected to release profit figures on August 19.
Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The CDC said Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or stay six feet from others in most cases, whether indoors or outdoors. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.
The sudden change in the federal agency sparked confusion and criticism. Over the weekend, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky and White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci toured news programs to explain and advocate for the policy change. .
Some believe that the new guidelines will encourage more people to get vaccinated, but others fear that the policy relies too much on people’s honesty about their vaccination status. The possibility that unvaccinated people could do without masks is a concern for those who are not yet vaccinated or have children under 12 who cannot yet receive the vaccine.
As of Saturday, about 47% of the U.S. population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 37% are fully vaccinated, according to the agency.
All retailers have said they will respect local mandates, which are also changing. New York State said Monday it would allow people to skip masks if they are fully immunized, starting Wednesday. Masks will still be needed in certain settings, such as public transportation and healthcare settings, according to federal guidelines. California health officials said Monday they were sticking to a plan to keep the mask’s mandate until June 15, which was set before the CDC released its updated guidelines.
Retailers who have changed their mask policies have not announced plans to verify the immunization status of customers. They have asked those who are not vaccinated to continue to wear masks in their stores. Companies have taken different approaches with their workforce.
In a statement, CVS said it will always require its employees to wear masks at work. Employees at Chipotle restaurants will still need to wear masks, according to Laurie Schalow, director of general affairs. Target said in a statement that its fully vaccinated employees would not have to wear masks – but said it would retain other safety measures, such as additional cleaning and social distancing at its stores.
Starbucks’ new mask policy does not appear to apply to baristas. Since February, the cafe chain has been requiring its catering workers at company-operated establishments in the United States and Canada to wear multi-ply headgear or a double mask. Starbucks has required face covers inside its cafes for customers since July 15.