Bay Area shoppers react as major retailers ready to lift mask requirements for vaccinated customers

EAST BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- Several major retailers said they are ready to lift mask requirements for vaccinated customers once California and local health departments follow the new CDC guidance.

Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and Trader Joe's all announced that they will be updating their mask policies to allow vaccinated customers inside without a face covering.

Walmart extended that to employees as well, even offering a $75 bonus if employees can show proof.

RELATED: SF business owners, employees wary of CDC's new mask-wearing guidance

"To receive the bonus, you will need to show your original, completed vaccine card for visual inspection," Walmart executives wrote in an email to employees.

At Costco, President Craig Jelinek said customers will be on the honor system.

"We will not require proof of vaccination, but we ask for members' responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy," wrote Jelinek.

RELATED: Stores reviewing face mask policies after new CDC guidance released Thursday

Oakland resident, Allison Tom, said she is skeptical of such an unenforceable policy.

"Anyone and everyone is going to say they are vaccinated. Who knows what will happen," she said.

Despite being vaccinated herself, she said she will likely keep her mask on in crowded indoor spaces until vaccination rates get higher.

RELATED: Starbucks to drop mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers on Monday | List of store policies

"Realistically, it's not worth it. Even catching a variant and being asymptomatic," she said.

Outside Walmart in Richmond, Safe Elbgal said he also wouldn't be surprised if people lied in order to not wear a mask, but he felt confident the vaccine would protect himself nonetheless.

"I don't think there's anything to worry about," he said, still needing to get his second shot. "I feel like everyone's excited to go back to normal."



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