Shoppers at Target will have to continue wearing face masks, even in states that have lifted the requirement. The company clarified its policy in a statement after Texas Governor Gregg Abbott eliminated the statewide mask mandate and told local officials they cannot punish people who refuse to wear a mask.
"We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children," said a Target spokesperson. "We also require all store team members to wear masks at work and have provided them with reusable and disposable masks. Those who have been vaccinated for coronavirus are still required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines, in line with current CDC guidance."
The retailer joins a growing list of companies that said they will require employees and customers to wear masks at all times. Macy's said that their policies remained unchanged for both customers and employees. General Motors and Toyota, which employ about 26,000 people in Texas, said they have no plans to change the safety requirements in their factories or offices.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association is urging businesses to keep their mask requirements in place, even in states that no longer have mandates in place.
"Relaxing common-sense safety protocols like wearing masks is a mistake," said Jason Brewer, vice president of Communications and State Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. He added that states that lifted the mandates have "unfairly put retail employees back in the role of enforcing guidelines still recommended by the CDC and other public health advocates."
As of Monday (March 1), 35 states require residents to wear a face mask in public places.
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