Target will stop requiring face masks for fully vaccinated customers and employees, the company announced Monday morning.
The move comes from the recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the company said, which eases mask-wearing protocol for vaccinated individuals indoors. The updated mask policy will apply to all stores unless required by a state or local order.
However, the retailer said it is “strongly recommended” for those who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings. It plans to continue increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing.
Target joins other major retailers like Publix, Costco, Walmart and Trader Joe’s in easing their mask policy. Other national retailers like Winn-Dixie and CVS have, for now, decided to keep mandatory mask policies in place.
The Sunshine State has so far reported 9.5 million individuals who have received at least one shot of the vaccine. So far, about 7.5 million have been fully vaccinated.
Lifting mask policies for vaccinated individuals will likely rely on a system of trust, following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on “vaccine passports” — a term that refers to institutions verifying vaccination status. Entities that require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine could get slapped with a $5,000 fine for each affected customer or student.
“You have a right to participate in society — go to a restaurant, movie, a ballgame, all these things — without having to divulge this type of information. And oh, by the way, you give that to big companies; they are going to absolutely try to monetize that. So, we didn’t want to go down that road,” DeSantis said when signing the new proposal into law earlier this month.
However, the new law still allows businesses to make their own rules regarding masks, temperature checks and other protocols.