Things are starting to look like 2019 again (and that’s a good thing). The CDC announced that fully vaccinated adults can now resume their indoor and outdoor activities without masks. This means you can breathe a little easier in some of your favorite stores.
Of course, each state and store will have its own rules in place that will override the CDC’s general guidelines. For example, California is keeping its mask mandate until June 15, so when in doubt, check with your state or county first.
Certain stores have caveats to its new no-mask policy, including Costco requiring masks for everyone in health service areas of its clubs, like the pharmacy. And many stores (like Costco) are allowing fully vaccinated shoppers to enter mask-free, but there is no proof of vaccination needed.
Here are 17 stores that are ditching mask requirements for the vaccinated — and six more that are sticking with masks (for now) for all customers. We also linked all stores’ COVID-19 policies, so you can easily check updates and determine if your local store requires masking still before you head back in.
The Stores You Can Shop Mask-Free Again
The discounted grocery chain will allow vaccinated customers to shop mask-free. Starting May 26, fully vaccinated Aldi employees will also be able to work unmasked.
Best Buy says that fully vaccinated customers and employees are no longer required to wear face coverings in stores, except where otherwise mandated by state or local order. Best Buy employees working inside a customer’s home are required to wear a mask still, even if they are vaccinated.
The box store BJ’s announced it will no longer require masks for vaccinated customers and team members.
Vaccinated Costco members can shop mask-free in select locations. Face coverings will still be required by all in healthcare settings, including Pharmacy, Optical and Hearing Aid areas.
CVS is allowing fully vaccinated customers to shop in-store without a mask where there are no city or state ordinances that say otherwise.
Home Depot customers and associates who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks or facial coverings in store, except where it’s mandated by state or local ordinances.
Grocery store chain Hy-Vee also just announced that it will no longer require vaccinated guests or employees to wear masks. The store will keep its plexiglass barriers and social distancing signage though.
Fully vaccinated customers are welcome to shop with or without a mask at Kohl’s. The store will continue to strongly recommend that unvaccinated customers and associates wear masks in Kohl’s stores, as well as follow city and state ordinances where masks continue to be required.
Kroger, which owns several popular grocery chains, including Kroger, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, and Ralphs, will not require masks for fully vaccinated customers and most of its fully vaccinated employees (according to CBS News) unless local or state mandates state otherwise. Kroger employees who work in pharmacies or clinics will still be required to wear masks.
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Publix has made face coverings optional for vaccinated shoppers.
The big-box store owned by Walmart will follow the same new mask policies Walmart has instilled. This includes no mask requirements for fully vaccinated Sam’s Club members, customers, and team members and a bonus for employees who show proof of vaccination.
If your area is mask-free, then you can grab your latte without a mask if you are vaccinated. Starbucks employees will still be donning the face coverings, and select stores may still be closed for in-person seating and restroom use.
Most Trader Joe’s will now allow you to grab your Two-Buck Chuck without a mask, according to USAToday.
Fully vaccinated Verizon customers can choose whether or not they want to wear a mask in Verizon stores as long as the store is not located in a jurisdiction where face coverings are required. However, Verizon is still requiring its employees to wear face masks in certain situations.
Walmart no longer requires face masks for fully vaccinated customers and employees. However, they will support employees that still wish to wear a mask after being vaccinated. Walmart is also offering a $75 bonus for employees who show vaccination proof.
These Six Popular Stores Still Require You to Mask Up
There are many stores not on this list that still require masks, but they have not updated their policies based on the newest CDC guidelines.
American Eagle and Aerie
Even though American Eagle is hopeful that everyone will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, they are requiring masks by all customers and employees, since there is no way to verify which individuals have been vaccinated.
Although not updated for the current CDC guidelines, Foot Locker has said that it will require masks in states where masks are required. For Foot Locker locations in states that do not require masks, Foot Locker still encourages its guests to mask up.
Masks are still required, and social distancing cues are still in place in-store at JCPenney.
Petsmart says that it will keep its mask policy in place despite some states dropping its mask requirements.
More stores are expected to update their mask policies this week to clear up customer confusion. Do you know what’s not confusing? The great deals that are going on now through the Slickdeals forum. Set a Deal Alert for your favorite stores to see what discounts and sales are trending now.
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