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Shopping today at Publix and fully vaccinated? You won’t need to wear a mask

Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe’s are also making masks optional for customers vaccinated against COVD-19

For those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wearing a mask inside some stores is now optional.

MIAMI, Fla. – Saturday will be the first day that masks are optional inside Publix stores for fully vaccinated employees and customers.

Other businesses are lifting its mask requirements and making wearing face coverings optional following the CDC’s relaxed guidelines announced Thursday. Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe’s said those who are fully vaccinated can go maskless inside stores.

Trader Joe’s stated that it will not require proof of vaccination “as we trust our customers to follow CDC guidelines.”

Other retailers such as CVS, Walgreens, Starbucks, Home Depot and Target said they are still evaluating whether they would lift their mask mandates. A spokesperson for Target said: “Target will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests.”

Most retailers aren’t rushing to implement new policies.

At South Florida’s Aventura Mall, management said while it’s not requiring masks in common areas, stores and restaurants will have their own policies regarding masks and guests should follow those policies.

Also starting Saturday, masks will be optional in “outdoor common areas” at Disney World, according to the theme park’s website.

But the company stated that masks are required when entering and throughout all attractions, in all theaters, theater entrances, in transportation, transportation entrances and all indoor locations.

As for schools, Friday night Broward County Schools parents and guardians received a voice message on their phones from school leaders saying that students, employees, and visitors are still required to wear masks. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is also still requiring masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The CDC does still recommend masks in healthcare and transportation settings, and it’s up to private businesses whether they want to enforce their own mask policies.

The best advice? Carry a mask with you since some businesses are still requiring them, at least for now.


About the Authors:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!