Going shopping? How chain stores with north country locations are handling new mask guidance

·3 min read

May 23—WATERTOWN — With COVID-19-related mask restrictions being relaxed, retailers are announcing how they are handling the changes in guidance for their customers.

Below is a list of how several national and regional chains with stores in the north country are aligning with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:

Tops: When shopping in Tops stores, face coverings are optional for those individuals that are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a face covering.

Price Chopper: In states that have adopted the CDC recommendation and changed the face covering requirement for vaccinated people, Price Chopper will go from requiring face coverings to recommending face coverings for customers. Because they interact with each other and thousands of customers each day and their safety remains its top priority, Price Chopper teammates will be expected to continue wearing face coverings at all times.

Target: Given the CDC's updated guidance last week, Target will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in its stores, except where it's required by local ordinances. Face coverings will continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and the store will continue its increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout its stores.

ALDI: Following the latest CDC Guidelines, effective May 18, Aldi will no longer mandate the use of face coverings in its stores for fully vaccinated customers, unless required by state or local jurisdictions. Effective May 26, ALDI employees who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a face covering. There may also be local conditions, regulatory changes or laws that affect guidance. Aldi requires that unvaccinated customers continue all appropriate safety precautions, including wearing masks and physically distancing, to protect themselves and others.

Kohl's: As of May 17, fully vaccinated customers are welcome to shop with or without a mask. Kohl's will continue to strongly recommend that non-vaccinated customers and associates wear masks in its stores. The store will continue to follow city and state ordinances where masks continue to be required.

Home Depot: Following the CDC's recent announcements, customers and associates who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks or facial coverings in Home Depot stores, except where it's mandated by state or local ordinances. Masks are still encouraged for those who aren't fully vaccinated, and Home Depot will keep safety measures in place like enhanced cleaning and social distancing.

Lowe's: Lowe's aligned with the CDC guidelines beginning May 19.

JCPenney: Following CDC's latest guidelines, JCPenney will no longer require fully vaccinated customers and associates to wear masks in its stores, except in the service departments or where it's required by local ordinances, effective Thursday, May 20.

Best Buy: Beginning immediately, fully vaccinated customers are no longer required to wear face coverings in its stores, except where otherwise mandated by state or local order. Instead, masks will be available for any customer who wants one.

Walmart: Vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask, and Walmart will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in its stores and clubs. The retailer will update the signage in its facilities to reflect this.

Dollar General: Following the most recent CDC guidance, Dollar General will not require fully-vaccinated employees, customers and vendors to wear facial coverings or masks. All others are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings. This update applies across the organization and includes stores, distribution centers, transportation teams and Store Support Center.

Starbucks: Facial coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, unless local regulations require them by law. In an effort to ensure the health and well-being of its partners and customers, restrooms generally remain temporarily closed to the public in stores where the café or café seating is unavailable.

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