Target joins other major retailers in ending mask mandate for vaccinated customers

Target joins other major retailers in ending mask mandate for vaccinated customers
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Target is joining a growing number of retail chains dropping mask requirements from their stores, with fully vaccinated customers free to go maskless beginning on Monday.

USA Today reports that the company recommends that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks in areas where local mask mandates have been lifted. Customers and employees must still comply with existing local mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status, it added. 

"The health and safety of our guests and team members have been Target’s top priority throughout the pandemic, and we’ve closely and consistently followed the CDC's recommendations over time," Target said in a statement. "Given the CDC’s updated guidance last week, Target will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in our stores, except where it’s required by local ordinances."

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The retailer reiterated that it continues to offer vaccines at all locations with in-store CVS pharmacies, adding that team members will be given paid time and free Lyft free rides in order to get immunized.

Other large companies like Walmart, Trader Joe's, Starbucks and Costco have also dropped their mask requirements for vaccinated customers.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance that stated vaccinated people could go without masks both indoors and outdoors in most situations, essentially allowing them to return to pre-pandemic life.

The move sparked heavy debate, with many health experts questioning whether the decision by the CDC was rushed. CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE affirmed on Sunday that the decision was made in response to evolving data and denied that it was influenced by political pressure.