Costco to End Mask Requirement in Some States

People shop at a Costco store on March 14, 2021 in Washington,DC. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Depending on state guidelines, Costco will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear masks inside its stores following the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a press release to membership.

“Based on this new guidance regarding vaccine effectiveness, beginning May 14, 2021, we are modifying our policy regarding face coverings in some U.S. Costco locations,” Craig Jelinek, president and CEO of Costco, stated in a press release Friday.

Jelinek said the “Centers for Disease Control recently announced new guidance regarding COVID-19 and vaccines,” which says customers who are fully vaccinated do not have “to wear a mask in most settings, except where required by state and local laws.”

The press release stated the wholesale store’s policies in locations that have “no state or local mask requirements” vs. stores in “U.S. locations with state or local mask requirements”:

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.

In those Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does have a mask mandate, we will follow the state or local regulations and continue to require members and guests to wear a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt. If a member or guest has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield.

The president and CEO continued to add, “our goal is to continue to provide a safe shopping environment for our members and guests and to provide a safe work environment for our employees, while following public health advice and applicable laws.”

The popular grocery store chain Trader Joe’s and retail giant Walmart made similar statements Friday. The two companies announced they will no longer require customers to wear masks, without mentioning a state-by-state policy.

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