Starbucks, Others Lift National Mask Mandate: Mass Will Need To Wait

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Corporate retailers across the nation are starting to lift mask mandates for the fully vaccinated in their stores.

Several companies made the announcement after the CDC revised its masking guidelines to say that anyone who was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should be able to drop their masks inside, outside of several specific settings.

Starbucks announced on Friday that masks would be optional for its fully vaccinated customers starting this Monday, May 17. The chain said it would expand seating and other services in some locations.

Other stores like Costco are also dropping their mask mandate, with the wholesaler saying it wouldn't require proof of vaccination but expected customers to comply with the policy. Walmart, Trader Joes, and Sam's club are among the large chains that have reportedly dropped their nationwide mandate.

A big caveat is that all of the stores are required to follow local mask mandate rules, and in Massachusetts, indoor mask mandates are still in place. Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to ease those mandates in some fashion in the coming days.

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