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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Target stores drop mask rule for vaccinated customers

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Target says it will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear masks unless the local government requires it, joining the likes of Walmart, Starbucks and Costco in loosening in-store rules after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suddenly relaxed its COVID-19 guidance last week.

“Given the CDC’s updated guidance, Target no longer requires fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in our stores, except where it’s required by local ordinances,” the company website says. “Face coverings continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we continue our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout our stores.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna versions.

The CDC on Thursday said these people don’t have to wear a mask outdoors or indoors in most settings, stunning state officials and business leaders who weren’t given any warning of the change and had to adjust or maintain their policies.

Starbucks said that as of Monday, masks will be optional for fully vaccinated customers.

The framework amounts to an honor system, so there are widespread concerns that unvaccinated persons will shed their masks and blend in.

About 37% of the U.S. population has completed their vaccination course, according to CDC data.

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