December 7, 2023

People wear protective face masks in front of Starbucks in Union Square as the city resumes Phase 4 of its reopening after restrictions were imposed in New York City on September 29, 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

Starbucks changed its guidelines for wearing masks in its cafes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that fully vaccinated people no longer need to cover their faces indoors.

As of Monday, the coffee giant will only have to wear fully vaccinated customers masks if local or state law so requires. The chain has required face coverings in their cafes since July 15.

Starbucks is one of the few restaurants and retailers that updated its mask tour following the CDC’s announcement. Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe’s all allow mask-free shopping unless a state or local mandate requires face-covering. On the flip side, Target, Home Depot, Gap and Ulta Beauty have announced that they will maintain their pandemic precautions and will continue to monitor developments over the coming weeks and months.

The update to Starbucks’ mask policy does not appear to have any impact on the wearing of the mask by baristas. Since February, the coffee chain has been requiring its restaurant employees at company-operated locations in the United States and Canada to wear multi-layer face covers or double masks.

Starbucks shares are up nearly 4% so far this year, giving the company a market value of $ 131 billion. Business was hit by the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, but sales in the same store in the US returned to pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of fiscal.