Three of America’s wholesale retail giants, BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club have dropped their policy requiring customers to wear face masks. The decision comes after CDC guidance released by Director Rochelle Walensky and U.S. President Joe Biden announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear face masks.
Based on recent guidance from the CDC, BJ’s Wholesale Club will no longer require fully vaccinated team members and members to wear face coverings, unless required by local or state regulations.
“Team members and members who are not fully vaccinated must still wear face coverings in all BJ’s locations. Additionally, team members and members must wear face coverings in all our Optical departments since they are a healthcare setting. Children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a face covering,” the company said. “These changes will go into effect on May 15, 2021 for members and on May 18, 2021 for team members. Those who have concerns with wearing a facial covering while shopping in our locations can shop on BJs.com or through our mobile app for home delivery or curbside pickup or order same-day delivery on delivery.BJs.com.”
Costco sent out a message with two policy revisions affecting free states and another policy that was for lockdown states such as New Jersey and California.
U.S. locations with no state or local mask requirements – revised policy
In Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does not have a mask mandate, we will allow members and guests who are fully vaccinated to enter Costco without a face mask or face shield. We will not require proof of vaccination, but we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy. Face coverings will still be required in healthcare settings, including Pharmacy, Optical, Hearing Aid. Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield.
U.S. locations with state or local mask requirements – no policy change
In those Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does have a mask mandate, we will follow the state or local regulations and continue to require members and guests to wear a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt. If a member or guest has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield.
Sam’s Club announced a new policy based on the latest CDC guidance, stating fully vaccinated associates will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, May 18.
“According to the CDC, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in most indoor and outdoor settings,” Sam’s Club said. “This applies to all facilities, including our stores, clubs, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and offices. We’ll share more information next week with campus office associates.”
Unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings, per CDC guidance.
“We are also reviewing whether masks may still be required for certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes and will share additional guidance soon. Some associates may choose to continue to wear masks, and as part of our value of respect for the individual, we should all support their right to do so,” Sam’s Club said.