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

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Saturday, May 15, 2021
CDC director announces new guidance on indoor mask-wearing
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, announces that the CDC eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Starbucks announced masks will be optional for customers who are fully vaccinated beginning Monday. A statement from the company says this will also depend on local regulations.

Trader Joe's and Walmart are both dropping their mask mandates for fully vaccinated shoppers following new CDC guidance easing mask-wearing, the chains announced Friday.

CVS, Walgreens and Macy's said they are reviewing their requirements for facial coverings following new CDC guidance easing mask-wearing for people vaccinated against COVID-19.

The CDC said Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances such as in healthcare settings, on public transportation, or in areas where governments require masks. The CDC also said people will still need to follow workplace and local businesses' mask guidance.

Here is a list of stores that say they're reviewing their masking policies:


CVS said it is reevaluating its in-store policy, which requires customers and employees to wear masks, based on the latest CDC guidance. "The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process," a spokesperson said in an email.


Macy's is also reviewing its mask policy, a spokesperson said.

"Today is a great day for America," President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding new CDC mask guidance.


Walgreens is reviewing the updated CDC guidance, Emily Mekstan, a spokesperson for the company, said.

Home Depot

Representatives for Home Depot said they will keep their policies mandating shoppers and employees wear masks.

Kroger Family of Companies

Kroger, which operates, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Ralphs, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, Kroger, Mariano's and others, said it continues to require everyone in its stores to wear masks.

"Additionally, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing as well as consider the use of no-touch grocery," the company said in a statement.

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated shoppers.

"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 company said in a statement.


Starting on Monday, May 17, masks will be optional for customers at Starbucks who are fully vaccinated. A statement from the company added that this also depends on local regulations.


Beginning Friday, vaccinated customers and members can shop without a mask at Walmart stores. A statement from the company said it will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings.

This only applies where local ordinances don't require masks in stores.

Fully vaccinated associates will also not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, May 18.

Implementing masking rules

Mask wearing has been a contentious issue throughout the pandemic.

Retail and grocery store workers, restaurant staff and other frontline workers have often been thrust into the role of carrying out their employers' mask rules, sometimes with violent consequences. In the early months of the pandemic, a Family Dollar security officer was shot and killed after telling a customer to wear a mask and in Los Angeles, a Target security guard was left with a broken arm from a fight with two unmasked customers.

Unions representing grocery store workers and retail workers said Thursday that stores should continue requiring customers to wear masks to protect workers.

Members of the press ask questions to health officials after the CDC announced easing mask guidelines.

Marc Perrone, president of United Food and Commercial Workers' union, said the CDC guidance was "confusing" and "fails to consider how it will impact essential workers who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks."

The guidance "creates ambiguity" for retailers because "it fails to fully align with state and local orders" mandating masks, Lisa LaBruno, senior executive vice president at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said in a statement. The group represents top retailers such as Walmart, Target and Home Depot.

"These conflicting positions put retailers and their employees in incredibly difficult situations."

CNN Wire contributed to this report.