Shoppers react as retailers ready to lift mask requirements

Several major retailers said they are ready to lift mask requirements for vaccinated customers once California and local health departments follow the new CDC guidance.

Video Transcript

MATT BOONE: It's a question many shoppers haven't even had the time to think about yet. When will they be comfortable going inside a crowded store without a mask?

- Oh, it's so tough, right? I want to say herd immunity.

KIAN MAPLE: I think it's a tricky line.

DYLIN REDLING: I think I would also be a little hesitant.

MATT BOONE: Outside Costco, Dylin Redling and Allison Tom say they're comfortable being outside without masks, but inside might take more time to break the habit.

DYLIN REDLING: It took us so long to go from zero to full mask wearing all the time, and now it's such a behavior. It's really hard to go-- sorry-- really hard to go back.

MATT BOONE: Costco says once allowed by California, vaccinated customers can go inside without masks. They'll not be asking for proof but politely urging people to respect the policy. Same at Trader Joe's, though shopper Kian Maple says even being vaccinated, he's skeptical of the honor system.

KIAN MAPLE: There are definitely going to be people who are going to be-- try to take advantage of the situation.

MATT BOONE: Outside the Walmart in Richmond, Safe Elbgal says he's looking forward to the policy change.

SAFE ELBGAL: If the majority of people are vaccinated, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

MATT BOONE: Walmart announced they will also be lifting the mask requirement for vaccinated customers and employees, even offering a $75 reward for their workers who can prove they've been vaccinated.

JIM BROWN: We want employees to feel safe when they come back to work.

MATT BOONE: Jim Brown is a Bay Area labor attorney. He says it is legal for employers to require employees to get vaccinated, as well as customers if they want, though he foresees many employers taking a more cautious approach to lifting requirements.

JIM BROWN: If you want employees to come back, you're going to have to make them feel safe, and you're going to have to recognize the concerns that they have, even if the law allows you to do something as an employer.

MATT BOONE: Matt Boone, ABC 7 News.