A number of big retailers, including Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Costco, have already announced that they will no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks in their stores. The decision came, in some cases, within hours of the CDC’s latest mask guidance, but not all companies are ready to lift their mask requirements. Apple is officially counted among the latter group.
The CDC’s latest mask guidance has proven to be controversial, with some expressing worries that due to an inability to determine who has been vaccinated, the ‘honor system’ guidance will result in many unvaccinated individuals also ditching their masks. This would put store workers who haven’t yet been vaccinated at increased risk of exposure to the virus.
Apple has made the decision to keep the mask mandate for its retail stores in place for now, according to Bloomberg, noting that it will keep monitoring the safety measures. It’s unclear when the company will lift its mask mandate for vaccinated customers, but it is basing its decision on both employee and customer safety.
Companies face a difficult decision about whether they should remove their store mask mandates for vaccinated individuals who are ready to stop wearing their face masks or whether they should continue with the mandates to provide shoppers and workers with a sense of safety and protection from unvaccinated customers.
Many states that still had mask mandates removed them quickly following the CDC’s latest mask guidance, which allows fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks except in certain situations, including on public transportation, in medical facilities, and in homeless shelters. Other states are still evaluating their mask mandates and haven’t yet removed them.