How will private businesses handle new mask guidelines?


COVID-19 Dashboards

(WETM) – What do Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walt Disney World, and Starbucks have in common? All of these businesses are easing their mask rules for patrons.

All of these businesses announced their new relaxed rules after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new mask guidance on Thursday, which allows fully vaccinated people to un-mask in most indoor and outdoor settings. Starbucks said in a statement that face coverings will be optional starting Monday unless local governments require them by law. For park go-ers at Walt Disney World, they do not have to wear masks in outdoor areas, but masks are required indoors.

In New York State, the mask mandate is still in place as the Department of Health reviews CDC data. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has aligned with the CDC recommendation and will adopt the policy.

Walmart, the country’s largest retailer and employer, said the new policy will go into effect immediately at all Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. Costco started allowing fully vaccinated people to shop without masks starting Friday in towns that do not have mask mandates. Trader Joe’s is keeping many of its pandemic policies in places, such as health checks for workers and social distancing.

Some retailers are also establishing cash rewards and the freedom of a mask-free workspace for employees as part of a push to get them vaccinated.

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