Meijer updates mask policy, says people vaccinated against COVID-19 not required to wear mask

Michigan-based Meijer has released an update to its mask policy that will allow shoppers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to shop without wearing a mask.

Meijer Communications Manager Jon Hirschmug released an update to FOX 2, saying that fully vaccinated shoppers no longer need to wear a mask while in stores.

"Starting today (May 17), fully vaccinated customers may shop without a face covering where allowed under state or local law. Non-vaccinated customers must continue to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores, except where medical conditions prevent them from wearing one. Our team members will still be required to wear face coverings while we evaluate regulatory requirements," Meijer said in the statement.

READ NEXT: Michigan stores that require masks - and those that don't.

Last week, Meijer had planned to review the CDC guidance before making a change to its policy.

Labor groups and others warned that employees at stores, restaurants, and other businesses could be left exposed to the coronavirus from customers and could be forced into the unwanted role of "vaccination police."

Several major chains, including Home Depot and grocer Kroger Co., announced that they would keep mask mandates in place for now.

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How businesses will enforce the new policy remains to be seen but it seems unlikely many will require or even ask for proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This change comes a day after the CDC said that fully vaccinated people don't need to wear a mask in most situations. According to the guidance, vaccinated people don't need to wear masks in most indoor spaces and outdoors, even when there are crowds. They still should be worn in crowded indoor places, such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services began reviewing the state's mask mandate after the CDC changes were announced. 

"With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal," Gov. Gretchen Whitmersaid. "The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today's news makes all of that work worthwhile." 

READ NEXT: Do you have to wear a mask in Michigan?

Employers have the added challenge of how to verify if their employees have been vaccinated or not. Can a business mandate its employees get the COVID-19 vaccine?  

The question has been one that businesses have mulled over for months and, according to FOX 2's Charlie Langton, the short answer is yes, they can ask people if they are vaccinated.

"If an employer believes they want to make a safe workplace, I believe they can require their workers to get the vaccine," he said in Thursday morning's segment of The Verdict.

There are exceptions to this rule and to learn about those and it could mean to you and going back to work, check out this story: Can a business require its employees get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.