A day after the CDC issued new masking guidelines, retailers started announcing changes to mask policies for fully vaccinated customers.
Starbucks is making face coverings and masks optional for vaccinated customers starting Monday.
The coffee giant is the latest to update its mask policy after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new masking guidelines.
Masks will still be required at locations where local or state regulations mandate them.
“Facial coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, unless local regulations require them by law,” Starbucks said on its website. “As we continue to ensure the health and well-being of our partners and customers, our restrooms generally remain temporarily closed to the public in stores where the café or café seating is unavailable.”
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Masks not required: Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Publix no longer require masks for vaccinated customers. See the list.
The CDC announced new guidelines on wearing masks inside for people who are fully vaccinated.
The CDC said Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans, for the most part, no longer need to wear masks indoors and don’t have to wear masks outdoors, even in crowded spaces.
But privately-owned businesses can still require masks, which most of the nation’s largest retailers started mandating last summer. There are other exceptions for when the CDC recommends masks such as in health care settings, transportation hubs such as airports and stations, planes and public transportation.
Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco and Publix were among the first to confirm updates to mask requirements Friday.
Mask compliance has sparked debates throughout the coronavirus pandemic after Americans received mixed messages from authorities early on over whether they should wear face coverings in public places.
Starbucks started requiring masks nationwide on July 15, weeks after an altercation at a California Starbucks went viral.
In June 2020, Amber Gilles, a yoga instructor, accused Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez of refusing her service for not wearing a mask. Gilles posted his photo on Facebook and a GoFundMe campaign “Tips for Lenin” was created that raised more than $100,000.
Gilles recently filed a lawsuit against Matt Cowan, the creator of the GoFundMe, and previously requested half of the money raised.
Contributing: Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY
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