Target, many Memphis-area retailers lifting mask requirements for the fully vaccinated

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Target now says if you have been fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a face mask in its store, though signs encouraging masks are still posted.

Target joins other big box stores like Costco and Walmart lifting the mask requirements for those fully vaccinated, but also still following local mandates.

“I am also really glad that maybe the pandemic is coming to an end and we can get back to normal soon. I like seeing people’s faces,” said Rebecca Rhodes.

When we caught up with Rhodes heading into her local Target, she had not heard yet that masks are no longer required for customers who have been fully vaccinated.

“I am not aware, so I go prepared to wear a mask everywhere and try to honor what the store, kind of, asks me to do,” said Rhodes.

Many customers are hitting stores that have new rules on who has to mask up and who isn’t required.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said local mask mandates have been removed for those fully vaccinated.

“If you are unvaccinated, then the Health Department continues to recommend that you wear a mask, and that you practice all the social distancing guidance that we’ve talked about over the last 14 or 15 months,” Harris said on WREG’s Live At 9 on Monday.

“When it comes to our kids in our schools, specifically the Shelby County Health Department, Shelby County government we respect the authority of those systems to determine what policies that they want to set for their campuses to keep their constituency in place.”

But some stores, like Kroger, are keeping their mask requirement for now. And some people aren’t ready to ditch the mask just yet anyway.

“I think it’s crazy to take it off. We are only at 27% of Shelby County fully vaccinated. Why in the world would we not still be wearing masks?” said Farron Peatross of East Memphis.

Privately owned businesses can still require you to wear a mask in their establishments.

“I think it’s really important to be respectful of folks, regardless of their decision. But it is based on science and guidance from the CDC that now if you are vaccinated, you need not wear a mask in most situations. I think that matches our common sense as well,” said Harris.

Masks are still required in health settings, airports and on public transportation.

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