Trader Joe's Drops Mask Mandate For Vaccinated Shoppers Following New CDC Guidelines

·2 min read

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Trader Joe's is no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated shoppers.

On Friday, the grocery store chain made changes to its COVID-19 resources page announcing they would not be requiring masks in stores, but would still be practicing social distancing and daily employee wellness checks.

"We encourage customers to follow the guidance of health officials, including, as appropriate, CDC guidelines that advise customers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while shopping," the page read.

The announcement comes a day after the CDC released new federal guidelines surrounding face coverings, stating that Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now be indoors or outdoors without masks or social distancing in most cases.

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"The science is clear: If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," the CDC said in a statement on Thursday.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

However, the government agency is still leaving the final decision on mask mandates to local and state governments, which can continue to require face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals. Private businesses, such as many grocery store chains and restaurants, can also continue to require masks on their premises.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on the new CDC guidelines.

While Trader Joe's is the first major chain to announce they are dropping their mandates, other national grocery chains are evaluating their options. Kroger, Harris Teeter and Wegman's are both still requiring masks for now, but are discussing the possibility of lifting restrictions.

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"We are reviewing the updated CDC guidance and having internal conversations as we await further direction at the state and local levels," Wegman's public relations manager Tracy Van Auker told PEOPLE in a statement.

Chains like Lowe's Foods and Publix still have not updated their COVID-19 resources pages and have not yet been able to be reached by PEOPLE for comment.

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