Target Stores Update Mask Policies Amid COVID-19 Spike
Target is making a change to their current COVID-19 policy as the country sees an uptick in COVID-19 Delta variant cases.
Target implemented COVID-19 policies when it first started to emerged back in early 2020. At first, they began by limiting the number of customers allowed in store at one time. They also changed their hours and had special shopping hours for those who were vulnerable or immunocompromised.
At the time they started rolling out these new policies, they also installed plexiglass barriers at checkout, put up reminders to social distance throughout the store and had a waiting area outside for customers in case there were too many in the store at time one.
A few months after these new policies, the Minnesota-based company announced they would be requiring all customers to wear a face mask in stores. There were a few exceptions to this mandate, including young kids and those with medical conditions.
The face mask mandate lasted until mid-May of 2021, when the company announced they were dropping the policy for those that were fully vaccinated. At the time, they recommended those that were not fully vaccinated needed to wear a mask in stores.
Now, they are changing course a bit. According to their COVID-19 policy page, the store is requiring employees to wear face masks again in stores. This change goes into effect on Tuesday, August 3rd. They cited the CDC's most recent update as the reason for the change.
As for customers shopping in their stores, they say they are not mandating face masks at this time. However, the store says they "strongly recommend" face masks for everyone in places where transmission of the virus is substantial or high. This goes for everyone despite vaccination status.
It should also be noted that Target stores are still strongly recommending unvaccinated customers wear facial coverings in store. Other COVID-19 policies such as enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizer stations and the like have remained in place since the beginning of the pandemic and continue to this day.
This is a big change from just a month ago. In early June, Target stores reopened their fitting rooms once again. The fitting rooms had been closed for about a year. At this time, there is no change and fitting rooms remain open.
One big change that looks to be sticking around from 2020 is the store closing for Thanksgiving day. In 2020, Target stores nationwide closed as a result of the pandemic. At the time, they wanted to limit large crowds and instead, rolled out sales over a long period of time.
Now, in 2021, Target stores are carrying the change over to this year's Thanksgiving holiday. The store announced in January that they would be closed for Thanksgiving, a notoriously huge shopping day, because they got such good feedback about it the year before.