Trader Joe's Quickly Follows CDC's Lead

Stores won't require masks for vaccinated shoppers, while other chains deliberate
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2021 3:35 PM CDT
Trader Joe's Quickly Follows CDC's Lead
Customers wear masks and maintain social distancing at a Trader Joe's store in Los Angeles in May 2020.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

One day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance on wearing masks, Trader Joe's changed with it. The specialty grocer said Friday that shoppers who are fully vaccinated won't have to wear masks anymore in its stores, USA Today reports. The chain, which won't check to see who's vaccinated, is believed to be the first big national retailer to drop its mask requirement, according to the newspaper. Employees will still have to mask up, and social distancing will still be the rule in company stores, per the Washington Post. Other chains are keeping mask mandates, though many said they're still reviewing the situation. Private businesses can keep the rule, even after the CDC switch, if they want to.

CVS policy, for example, is in the middle, calling for employees to ask shoppers to wear a mask but not insist on it. Employees are asked "to instead help them complete their purchases as quickly as possible," a company spokesman said. Some people say mask policies might decide which stores they frequent, including a Wisconsin man who wears a mask and is vaccinated but has three small children who aren't. "It will definitely change where I stop, or where we stop, depending on if the kids are with me," he said, per the Post. "It'd be great if everyone actually followed the recommendations, but I don't fully trust people." (Read more face masks stories.)

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