Costco drops mask requirement for fully vaccinated shoppers, with some exceptions

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Shoppers leave a Costco Store in Chicago, Illinois in 2005. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Costco, one of the first major retailers to require customers to wear masks in its warehouses during the pandemic, has rolled back the requirement for people who are fully vaccinated – with some exceptions.

The new policy, which began Friday, will go into effect immediately in U.S. stores located in states or localities that don’t have a mask order.

Members won’t have to show proof of vaccination, but President and CEO Craig Jelinek said in a news release that “we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy.”

Face masks or face shields will still be mandatory in the pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid centers.

“Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield,” according to the statement.

Costco said the mask mandate will remain in effect where state or local government requires it.

Costco joins a number of other retailers that recently updated their face mask policies, including Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Publix.

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