Starbucks has joined a growing list of retailers, restaurants, and theme parks now enabling fully vaccinated customers to go mask-free under the federal government’s new coronavirus safety guidelines.
The company said in a statement that “face covers will be optional for vaccinated customers” starting May 17, subject to local regulations.
[Answers to your questions about vaccines and masks at work]
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surprised many companies when they said vaccinated people could go maskless in most places, including indoors. (The guidelines do not apply to those traveling by bus, plane, train, or other public transport.) For businesses, announcing has been made difficult by the fact that the CDC guidelines do not override state and local regulations. Within a few days, several large companies moved to ease mask requirements. For the most part, companies have not said they need to ask customers to show that they have been vaccinated.
Here you will find the latest information on companies changing their form guidelines.
Costco, which has more than 500 U.S. stores, said it would allow fully vaccinated customers to go mask-free if state and local guidelines allow. The retailer said it would “not require proof of vaccination,” but rather that its customers “work responsibly and respectfully with this revised policy.”
Publix, which has 1,270 grocery stores in the southeast, said “face covers are optional for fully vaccinated people in Publix stores,” subject to local regulations.
Trader Joe’s, who operates 517 grocery stores nationwide, said customers who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks in their stores. No vaccination certificate will be required “as we trust our customers to follow CDC guidelines,” a spokeswoman, Kenya Friend-Daniel, said in an email. Masks are still required for branch employees.
Walmart and Sam’s Club
Walmart said vaccinated customers will be allowed to walk maskless from May 18 in areas with no stricter mandates. A spokesman for the company, which operates more than 4,000 Walmart and nearly 600 Sam’s Club stores in the United States, expects its customers to abide by the honor system. Employees can also be mask-free by answering “yes” to a vaccination question that is part of a daily health assessment.
Walt Disney World Resort in Florida said that as of this weekend, visitors will no longer need to wear masks in most outdoor areas, although masks are still required indoors. Disneyland, California, continues to require indoor and outdoor masks due to government mandates. Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek said on a earnings call Thursday that the company had begun increasing capacity and that the CDC’s new guidelines are “very big news for us, especially if someone was in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on . “Around 150 million people visited Disney’s parks in 2019.
Hershey Park in Pennsylvania said it would no longer require masks or social distancing for fully vaccinated guests. The theme park, which attracted 3.4 million visitors in 2019, said it relied on its guests to “closely follow guidelines based on their vaccination status.”
Universal Orlando Resort These masks are no longer needed outdoors, but still have to be used in “all indoor spaces”. The California theme park continues to require masks both outside and inside due to state regulations.