Changes to mask policies come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance and recommended all people--including those who are vaccinated against the virus--don a mask when indoors in areas where COVID-19 cases are rising. The CDC previously stated that vaccinated individuals no longer needed to wear masks to protect themselves and others from spreading the virus.
Apple recently confirmed it is requiring shoppers to wear masks at half of its retail stores in the U.S. that are located in COVID-19 hotspots.
In addition, the National Retail Federation encouraged retailers to consider the new recommendations and return to mask wearing.
“Public health and safety is always the number one priority for retailers large and small,” the association said in a statement. “To be sure, retailers will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and other public health experts to protect our associates, their families and our customers. We want every business to remain open, we want to keep people employed, and we want to ensure that consumers have access to the goods and services they expect and need. It is truly unfortunate that mask recommendations have returned when the surest known way to reduce the threat of the virus is widespread vaccination. The CDC’s latest guidance underscores the urgency for more Americans to become fully vaccinated so we can all emerge from this pandemic.”