Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s are dropping mask mandates for fully vaccinated customers. Here’s how other retailers are responding.

Walmart coronavirus shopping
Shoppers wearing masks at a Walmart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, in July.

  • The CDC relaxed its guidelines for wearing masks indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated people.
  • Some companies have said workers and customers still need to wear masks.
  • Target, Macy’s, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still mandate masks in their stores.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people – but many retailers and restaurants aren’t ready to welcome maskless customers.

Macy’s, Target, and Starbucks are among those saying they’ll still make masks mandatory for shoppers and workers in their stores. Other retailers are on the fence.

Here’s where fully vaccinated people will and will not have to wear a mask now that the guidance has changed.


mask target store
Shoppers leaving a Target in Miami.

A Target spokesperson told Insider that it was reviewing its policies and the new CDC guidance. But as of now, the chain said, it will continue upholding all its coronavirus safety measures in stores, including wearing masks and social distancing.



food donations kroger
A customer wearing a mask in a Kroger store in Jackson, Mississippi.

The grocery chain Kroger said it would keep masks mandates for its customers and workers at its nearly 3,000 stores.

“As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesperson told Insider.


Starbucks barista
A Starbucks barista.

Starbucks shoppers and workers will still be required to wear masks in stores, the company told CNN.


A person with Macy’s bags.

The department-store chain Macy’s confirmed to Insider that it would keep masks mandatory in its stores.


A Walmart store.

Vaccinated Walmart customers are now allowed to shop without a mask, according to a memo sent to US store associates on Friday. Fully vaccinated Walmart workers also won’t be required to mask up in-store beginning May 18.

However, the company is still reviewing mask mandates for “certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes,” and will still adhere to mask requirements depending on city and state protocols, according to the note.

Bed Bath and Beyond

bed bath & beyond
A Bed Bath and Beyond store.

A spokesperson for Bed Bath and Beyond told Insider that it was reviewing its policies, but that its mask policy currently remains unchanged.

They added that the company would continue to align its COVID-19 protocol with with local, state and government health and safety guidelines to create a safe environment for both staff and customers.

Home Depot

Home Depot
A Home Depot store.

Home Depot has not updated its mask policy, a spokesperson told Insider.


walgreens masks
A sign in a Walgreens store telling customers to wear masks.

A Walgreens spokesperson told CNN that it was reviewing its rules in light of the CDC’s new guidelines.

Walgreens was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.


People outside a CVS store.

CVS said it was reviewing its mask policy.

“The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process,” the company said in a statement to Insider.


gap store
A Gap store in a mall in Los Angeles, California.

According to The Times, Gap has said it’s reviewing its policies and has not confirmed whether masks will continue to be mandatory.

A spokesperson for the apparel giant was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.


Publix grocery store night
A Publix.

The supermarket chain Publix is “awaiting additional guidance before implementing potential changes,” a spokesperson told Insider.

Dollar General

dollar general
A Dollar General store.

When asked about updated mask policies, a Dollar General spokesperson directed Insider to its website. The US chain’s COVID-19 protocols were last updated on March 10 and include a mask mandate.


An Ulta store.

Ulta is “assessing the implications” of the new CDC guidelines, a spokesperson told Insider. The beauty giant said it would continue to enforce mask and social-distancing protocols “until our assessment is complete and we are able to share more.”

Carl’s Jr

Carl's Jr. Restaurant
Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr is still requiring face masks but is now reviewing its mask policy, a Carl’s Jr spokesperson told Insider.



Costco announced on Friday that customers can now shop without a mask in stores that are located in states without a mask mandate. The retailer will not require proof of vaccination.

However, as per CDC guidelines, face masks will still be required in Costco’s healthcare sections, including its pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid divisions.

Trader Joe’s

trader joes
Customers line up outside a Trader Joe’s store.

Trader Joe’s is also dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers, and will not require proof of the vaccine, a spokesperson told Insider.

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