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Retail Outlets Ease Mask Rules Further

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Retail Outlets Ease Mask Rules Further

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The recent revision of the COVID-19 face covering guidelines by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has evoked feelings of relief, perplexity, and concern. In line with the latest guidelines, individuals who are fully vaccinated (meaning having received two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) are now permitted to forego wearing face masks in public places and lessen social distancing, with the exception of public transportation where masks are still mandatory. Various retailers have swiftly adapted to this update.

Today, notable names such as Target, CVS, and Starbucks have hopped on board the trend of allowing fully vaccinated individuals to go maskless within their premises. Joining this list are other retail giants like Trader Joe’s, Costco, Walmart, and Publix, while some others like Home Depot and Gap have chosen to uphold their mask mandates.

These alterations have sparked diverse conversations on social media. While some anticipate that the relaxed regulations will motivate more people to get vaccinated to avoid wearing masks in public, others have pointed out a significant loophole in this premise: businesses cannot feasibly verify the vaccination status of maskless individuals, potentially leading to unvaccinated individuals falsely claiming inoculation (which only puts them at higher risk).

“We urge individuals to be truthful with themselves,” stated Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, to NBC. “If they are vaccinated and choose not to wear a mask, they are protected. If they are unvaccinated and opt not to wear a mask, they are at risk.”

As per current data, approximately 47% of the US population has received at least one vaccine dose, while around 37% are fully inoculated.

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