At long last, some of the nation’s largest companies are easing mask mandates at their store locations. As COVID-19 cases continue to decline, more and more people feel ready to return to normal life – and these companies are leading the corporate charge to support the reopening of America.
Companies like Walmart (1.33), Costco (2.33), Publix (2.33), and Trader Joe’s (2.67) were some of the first to stop requiring customers to wear masks. Since then, others like Chipotle (2.33), Target (1.50), Starbucks (1.17), and CVS (3.72) followed suit, dropping the mask requirement for customers who have been vaccinated.
None of these companies have announced any plans to check their customers’ vaccination status. We’re grateful they won’t be acting like the COVID police, but are instead allowing people to use their best judgment. After all, getting back to normal means not having to constantly think about pandemic measures. After a year of restrictions, letting people make their own decisions is the right move.
Of course, all of the above companies must defer to state and local law. Twenty-two states have not yet lifted their mask requirements for businesses. And some companies, like Home Depot (3.47) and Gap (2.00), continue to require masks regardless of local regulations. As cases continue to drop nationwide, these states and companies should be encouraged to ease their mask mandates to help send the message that pre-pandemic life is on the way.
When it comes to employees at these companies, the picture is more complicated – but still encouraging. Target, for example, no longer requires fully vaccinated employees to wear masks, but CVS and Chipotle still require masks for their staff no matter what. Employers should end mask mandates for their employees as soon as reasonably possible so that their employees can also return to normal life.
Companies nationwide are making good progress on ending mask requirements. They should keep it up and be leaders in helping America return to normal.
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