MINNESOTA, USA — Editor's note: This article lists a variety of companies but please be sure to pay attention to their signage, call ahead or visit the company's website if you're unsure of its mask policy.
Governor Tim Walz issued an end to Minnesota's statewide mask mandate Friday, while urging the public to keep up their guard and continue to follow federal CDC guidelines for masking - which have eased for fully vaccinated Americans.
This has led many regional and national chains to either double down on their own mask mandates, or do away with them entirely. Some cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, have chosen to keep mask mandates in place. Customers at stores in those jurisdictions will still be required to wear face coverings.
Here is a running list of those that have issued statements following an end to Minnesota's mask mandate.
Which stores are dropping mask mandates?
After keeping its original mask mandate in place for several days, Target announced that fully vaccinated customers and employees no longer need to wear masks in its stores.
The Minneapolis-based company said face coverings are still "strongly recommended" for customers and employees who aren't fully vaccinated.
The company that offers "a smile in every aisle" will again have them on display, after announcing on May 18 that customers and employees who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to hide those smiles behind masks.
Face coverings continue to be strongly recommended for Hy-Vee customers who are not fully immunized, and are still required by the company for employees who have not completed their COVID shot sequence.
Hy-Vee emphasizes that local ordinances mandating masks supersede the new company policy.
Stores will continue to implement its extra safety and sanitization procedures that have been in place since the pandemic began.
The home improvement giant says fully vaccinated customers and sales associates will no longer be required to wear masks in their stores unless mandated by local guidelines.
"Masks are still encouraged for those who aren’t fully vaccinated, and we’ll keep safety measures in place like enhanced cleaning and social distancing," the company said in a statement.
Starbucks announced that starting May 17, vaccinated customers no longer need to wear masks.
Best Buy announced an updated mask policy on May 18. In a statement on its website, the electronics chain said fully vaccinated employees and customers no longer need to wear masks. Masks and hand sanitizer will still be available.
Lunds & Byerlys
The grocery store chain joins Target and Starbucks in updating its mask policy after initially keeping it in place. Masks are now optional for vaccinated employees and customers.
"In accordance with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our staff and customers who have been fully vaccinated are not required to wear face coverings in our stores unless it is required by city ordinance," reads a statement on the company's site.
CVS announced on its website that "customers who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings inside of our stores, unless it is mandated by state or local regulations."
A spokesperson with Cub issued the following statement: "After careful review, Cub is removing its face covering requirement effective immediately for vaccinated customers and employees at all locations, unless a local municipality dictates otherwise."
Costco said Friday it will allow fully vaccinated members to shop without a mask, except in its pharmacy, optical and hearing aid sections. It will also follow state and local mandates, so stores in jurisdictions that require masks indoors will continue to enforce the rule. Costco said it won't be asking for proof of vaccination.
Trader Joe's said, effective immediately, it will no longer require customers to wear masks in its stores if they are fully vaccinated. In an email, Trader Joe's said, "We do not require proof of vaccination, as we trust our customers to follow CDC guidelines." Employees at Trader Joe's will still be required to wear masks.
Walmart said Friday it will allow fully vaccinated customers at Walmart and Sam's Club to shop without a mask, although it may update that rule for certain areas of the stores. It will also follow state and local mandates, so stores in jurisdictions that require masks indoors will continue to enforce the rule. Walmart said fully vaccinated employees will be able to stop wearing masks on May 18, but said workers have the choice to continue wearing one if they want.
Which companies are keeping mask mandates?
Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, which has shopping centers, malls and retail properties in 37 states and Puerto Rico, said Friday that it will continued to require employees, retailer staff and shoppers to wear masks.
The company owns four malls in Minnesota: Albertville Premium Outlets, Southdale Center, Twin Cities Premium Outlets and Miller Hill Mall.