Costco, Jewel, Meijer: These Are the New Mask Policies for Major Retailers in Illinois

The CDC revised its guidelines on Thursday, saying that vaccinated individuals should not be required to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings, with some exceptions

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Now that Illinois has changed its masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people in wake of new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, major stores across the state are changing their mask policies.

The CDC revised its guidelines on Thursday, saying that vaccinated individuals should not be required to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings, with some exceptions.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that he is issuing an updated executive order that will remove the mask requirement for fully vaccinated residents in most settings and the Illinois Department of Public Health "is rescinding emergency rules in the Control of Communicable Disease Code that enforce masking and distancing for vaccinated people in business settings."

“Getting vaccinated is the ultimate protection from COVID-19 and the quickest ticket back to normal life,” Pritzker said in a statement. “With public health experts now saying fully vaccinated people can safely remove their masks in most settings, I’m pleased to follow the science and align Illinois’ policies with the CDC’s guidance."

Chicago released similar guidelines for within city limits Tuesday, but encouraged businesses unable to check vaccination status to continue requiring masks until capacity limits are lifted and the city reaches Phase 5 of its reopening plan.

You'll want to check your local health department's guidelines before shopping.

For now, here is a look at some major store policies for fully vaccinated residents.

Target: No

Target issued a statement Monday saying it will "no longer require fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings" in stores, unless it is required by local ordinances.

"Face coverings will continue to be strongly recommended for guests and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we’ll continue our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, throughout our stores," Target said in a statement. "Target is offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments at nearly all CVS at Target locations for guests and team members. We’re also providing paid time to U.S. hourly team members when they get their vaccines and free Lyft rides, up to $15 each way, for our team to get to and from their appointments."


CVS announced Monday that customers who are fully vaccinated "are no longer required to wear face coverings inside of our stores, unless it is mandated by state or local regulations."

"Customers who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing face coverings, and employees are required to do so while at work. Health, safety and science will continue to drive our decision-making process," the company's statement read.

Trader Joe's: No

When shopping at Trader Joe's, customers do not need to wear a mask if fully vaccinated as of Friday. The store did not detail whether or not shoppers would be asked to prove COVID vaccinations.

"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," a message on Trader Joe's website read Friday.

Meijer: No

In a statement Tuesday, Meijer said its new mask policy was taking effect.

"Starting today, fully vaccinated customers may shop without a face covering where allowed under state or local law," the company said. "Non-vaccinated customers must continue to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores, except where medical conditions prevent them from wearing one. Our team members will still be required to wear face coverings while we evaluate regulatory requirements."

Costco: No

According to Costco's website, masks do not need to be worn if a shopper is fully vaccinated in stores if the local jurisdiction does not have a mandate in place.

Costco noted customers do not need to provide proof of vaccination, but asked for members' "responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy." Face coverings are still required in Pharmacy, Optical and Hearing Aid areas.

"Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield," the website read.

Walmart: No

Customers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to wear a face covering in stores, the company said.

In a memo sent to employees, the retailer said the change in its mask policy takes effect immediately at Walmart stores and its membership club, Sam's Club. Starting Tuesday, it said employees who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask while working.

Kohl's: No

According to a statement posted on the company's website Monday, "fully vaccinated customers are welcome to shop with or without a mask."

"We will continue to strongly recommend that non-vaccinated customers and associates wear masks in our stores," the statement read. "We will continue to follow city and state ordinances where masks continue to be required. 

Walgreens: No

Walgreens announced Wednesday that the pharmacy chain "will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear face coverings inside of our stores, unless mandated by state or local regulations."

"Customers who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing face coverings, and our team members will continue to wear them while working," the company said in a statement. "The health and safety of our customers and team members will continue to guide our decision process."

Jewel-Osco: Yes

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether their masking policies would change along with the CDC's and Illinois' new guidelines.

The company wrote on Twitter that as of May 15 "we are still requiring face masks for all customers, associates, and vendors."

Mariano's: No

Kroger, Mariano's parent company, announced that beginning Thursday "fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated associates no longer need to wear a mask in our facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices, unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction."

"If there is a state or local mandate, we will adhere to that requirement and its timeline," the company said in a release.

Here's a look at the new requirements:

• Non-vaccinated associates will be required to wear a mask.
• Associates in pharmacy and clinic locations will be required to continue
wearing a mask due to the CDC’s guidance for healthcare settings.
• Non-vaccinated customers asked to continue wearing masks.
• The company will "continue to respect the choice of individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask."

The list above will continue to be updated as more information is released from stores on the latest mask guidance.

According to the CDC, "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing," but there are some exceptions.

Those exceptions include places where masks are required by "federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a well-fitted mask in:

  • correctional facilities and homeless shelters
  • If you travel, you will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations

Chicago's health department echoed those claims.

"We also agree with the CDC that masks should be worn during travel, including use of public transit, and that the unvaccinated should continue to wear masks in most settings," the department's statement read.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to wear a mask in most instances. Those who are not vaccinated can go outside without masks in some cases, however.

Here's a look at what the CDC says is safe for unvaccinated people to do without a mask:

  • Walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household
  • Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
Contact Us