Following new guidelines issued by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several large retailers began allowing vaccinated customers to shop without a mask, and allowed employees to come to work and not wear a mask. Among the larger retailers are Costco, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sprouts, Trader Joes and Walmart. We talked to Publix and Costco and they said they will still require a mask in places where local laws, mandates or regulations still require a mask.
Some other larger retailers said they are reviewing the CDC’s new guidelines and might be making changes soon, those include Albertsons, Apple stores, CVS, HEB, Kroger, Macy’s, Target and Walgreens.
Many small stores have long allowed unmasked shoppers despite signage saying the opposite as retailers have learned that confronting an unmasked customer creates unwanted negative behavior and public attention.
We contacted many large hotel chains including Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, and others and for now, all of them said they are leaving a mask requirement in place. However, one of our staff members who asked not to be identified travels frequently and said seldom have hotels actually forced patrons to wear a mask lately.
If you intend to fly, passengers are still require to mask up once you enter the TSA checkpoint and remain wearing a mask while in the airport and on an airplane. We reached out to Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United, JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit to ask if they are changing any mask or other health requirements. United, JetBlue and Spirit said they still require face masks while on board their aircraft, but that they are actively reviewing safety guidelines and as soon as it is safe and guidelines and regulations allow, they will stop requiring passengers wear a mask. Delta said “we continue to require our passenger to wear a facial covering for the health and protection of both other passengers and our crew members and do not see removing this requirement immediately.” Alaska, American, Hawaiian and Southwest did not respond.