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After CDC change, Walmart says employees, customers can ditch masks

The change in policy comes a day after the CDC changed its guidance to say the fully vaccinated don't need to wear masks in most settings.
/ Source: NBC News

Masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated Walmart employees or customers starting Tuesday, the retailer said one day after federal health officials changed guidance on face coverings.

In a memo Friday, the nation's largest retail chain also announced a $75 bonus for employees who are or get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that those fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks in most settings, including indoors.

President Joe Biden called the change "a great milestone." It offered hope of a return to some sense of normalcy in a pandemic that has killed more than 580,000 people in the United States.

Masks are still required in some other settings, like at airports and on planes and other forms of public transportation.

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Also Friday, Trader Joe’s updated its COVID-19 resources page to say that fully vaccinated customers no longer need to wear masks in stores, though the specialty supermarket will continue taking safety precautions like conducting employee wellness checks, using plexiglass barriers and cleaning stores and high-touch surfaces frequently, according to its website.

Another chain, Publix, said it would no longer require masks for the vaccinated starting Saturday. Its stores are in seven states in the South, including Florida.

The pharmacy chain Walgreens, which does vaccinations and testing for the disease, is keeping its mask rules in place.

Target, Gap and Home Depot also were among the companies keeping their mask rules unchanged for the time being.

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