Target announced Monday that it will end its store policy requiring all customers to wear masks — a move which follows last week’s updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said vaccinated individuals can forgo masks in both indoor and outdoor settings.
“The health and safety of our guests and team members have been Target’s top priority throughout the pandemic, and we’ve closely and consistently followed the CDC’s recommendations over time,” the company said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
The company said it will continue to “strongly” recommend face coverings for employees and customers who are not fully vaccinated, and it will continue to maintain advanced health protocols, such as increased cleaning measures. Target added that individuals can make vaccine appointments at “nearly all CVS at Target locations for guests and team members.”
“We’re also providing paid time to U.S. hourly team members when they get their vaccines and free Lyft rides, up to $15 each way, for our team to get to and from their appointments,” the company added.
Other retailers dropping their hardline mask requirements include Costco and Walmart, the latter of which is allowing vaccinated customers and members to enter the store without a mask but requesting unvaccinated individuals to continue to wear a face covering.
“Masks will also continue to be required by some city and state ordinances, and we will follow those requirements,” Walmart said in a statement.
According to the latest CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people “can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
First Lady Jill Biden has since said she feels “naked” without her mask, and President Biden issued an ultimatum last week, instructing Americans to either get vaccinated or continue wearing a mask “until you do”:
The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.
The choice is yours.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 13, 2021