When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March of 2020, it wasn’t long before a mask mandate was put into place, instructing everyone to cover their nose and mouth with a mask when in public to reduce the spread of the virus. Since then, it’s become the norm to mask up when going grocery shopping, heading to a restaurant, or even going to the gym.

However, once vaccines began to roll out, cases of COVID began to decrease—and so did the need to wear a mask. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had announced that vaccinated people no longer had to wear masks and could resume doing most of the activities they did prior to the pandemic.

We all thought we were in the clear! However, a new more contagious variant of the virus called Delta has quickly made itself known and is spreading quickly, causing the CDC to reverse their mask guidance. In fact, they are now recommending that both unvaccinated as well as vaccinated people wear masks when in public, indoor spaces.

The guidance has caused many stores to amend their own mask guidance, many of which had been completely lifted when cases were so low. Two of those stores include popular retailers Target and Walmart.

Target recently issues a statement saying that their employees must wear a mask and customers are strongly recommended to do the same, especially in areas where Delta is spreading the most.

“The health and safety of our guests and team members have been Target’s top priority throughout the pandemic. Target will continue to recommend face coverings for unvaccinated team members and guests at all stores across the country,” the company wrote in a statement. “Effective Tuesday, based on the CDC’s updated guidance, we’ll require face coverings for our team members and strongly recommend face coverings for all guests in areas with substantial or high risk of transmission, as defined by the CDC.”

Walmart also issued a statement with a similar sentiment.

“We will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission,” the company explained. “In these counties and where there are state or local mask mandates, associates will be required to wear masks inside our facilities, including stores, clubs, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers.”

Other stores that have updated their mask policies in light of the new recommendations include Kroger, Home Depot, Publix, Meijer and more.

Do you think everyone should mask up indoors again?