Washington | Several US retail chains, such as giant Walmart or low-cost costco supermarkets, announced Friday that the mask is no longer mandatory in their stores, but is still required when local legislation still requires it to be worn.
“Starting today, vaccinated customers and members will be able to shop without a mask,” the supermarket chain wrote in a statement.
However, this announcement is not specific to all stores, as masks remain mandatory in cities or regions that still require wearing.
In fact, the major US federal public health agency (CDC) said Thursday that anyone who has been fully vaccinated can now do without a mask, except for transportation and hospitals. But every state, county or even city can decide to fulfill the obligation.
The announcement by Walmart, the number one US retailer and one of the largest private sector employers in the country, is a powerful symbol.
Last summer, when the mask in the United States became a symbol of political affiliation between supporters and opponents of Trump, Walmart, a symbol of “real” America, took a stand by making it mandatory to wear it in its stores, at risk of the displeasure of some of its customers.
The low-cost supermarket chain Costco has also adopted this changing engineering situation: masking is always mandatory when local regulations require it, optional elsewhere.
Trader Joe’s grocery stores were the first major supermarket chain in the United States to take the lead Friday morning to raise mask requirements. The press release announcing it was no longer available at the end of the day.
On the other hand, drop masks in Las Vegas, where casinos Wynn and Anchor have canceled their “guests” commitment if they are “fully vaccinated,” according to a press release. The group says “trust” customers to make the “right” decision.
However, others remain in the background, such as the low-cost supermarket chain Aldi, which maintains commitment, explaining in a press release sent to AFP that, since the start of the pandemic, it has “prioritized health and well – being its customers and employees.”
The CVS pharmacy chain said it is “re-evaluating its” policy “based on the latest CDC recommendations.” Meanwhile, the mask will continue to be worn by employees and customers.
“As a place that can be tested and vaccinated against Covid-19, we have decided to keep our current policy in place for the time being,” said Walgreens, another pharmacy chain.
The same goes for Home Depot, a chain of DIY and home goods stores, as well as Gap clothing stores.
The Distribution Workers’ Union of the American Diaspora Federation complained that “the CDC’s recommendations are confusing.” “The primary workers are often exposed to individuals who have not been vaccinated and refuse to wear masks (…) Are they supposed to become vaccination policemen?”
Wearing a mask also remains the norm at the number one US car company, General Motors, which asserts that it “will remain faithful to its Covid-19 security protocols until (he is convinced) that any review will continue to ensure health,” said Dan Flores, of the manufacturer’s communications department , “The safety of employees while respecting the rules of the authorities.”
An Uber spokesperson said that since a mask is still mandatory on public transport, Uber hasn’t changed the rules for its drivers and riders either.