Businesses start lifting mask requirements

Businesses have also started responding to the new CDC guidance, with Walmart saying Friday that it will no longer require customers and employees to wear face masks inside its stores if they are fully vaccinated.

Trader Joe’s said it will also no longer require customers to wear face masks inside its stores if they are vaccinated, though a spokesperson said that masks are still required for staff at this time.

The grocery store said on its COVID-19 webpage that it encourages “customers to follow the guidance of health officials, including, as appropriate, [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines that advise customers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while shopping.”

But it’s all based on the honor system; nobody will be asking for proof of vaccination at the door. Some experts have said cloth masks may not be enough for employees if nobody else is wearing a mask; the medical-grade N95 may be needed.

Trader Joe’s rule comes on the heels of another change that was quietly adopted; the company told USA Today that it is dropping senior hours at its stores, except where it’s required.