Starbucks the latest to ease mask requirements, if you’re fully vaccinated


A Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

(ABC4) – Yet another national chain has relaxed its face covering requirement.

Starbucks says that if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask in its stores, unless local regulations require masks to be worn.

On its website, Starbucks says:

“It is our responsibility to protect our partners and customers, and we are committed to meeting or exceeding all public health mandates. With widespread vaccine availability and the ongoing progress against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending that fully vaccinated people can resume indoor activities without wearing a mask, except where required by local regulations or law. As such, facial coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17, unless local regulations require them by law. 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.”

Target – which is home to some Starbucks stores – also relaxed its mask requirements Monday, saying in a statement to ABC4 that it “will no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings in our stores, except where it’s required by local ordinances.”

Last week, following the CDC’s announcementTarget confirmed in a statement to ABC4 that it would “continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review updated guidance from the CDC and re-evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests.”

Target and Starbucks join other major retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club, CostcoTrader Joe’s, and, in Utah, Harmons in dropping mask requirements for vaccinated customers and employees.

The CDC says you’re fully vaccinated two weeks after you’ve received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or after your one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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Still, many retailers and restaurants are continuing to require face coverings, whether you’re fully vaccinated or not. That includes Kroger, CVS, and Home Depot, to name a few.

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