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Target Is Getting Rid of This in Stores, Effective Immediately

The changes could affect your next shopping visit to the major retailer.

It's not hard to see why some people become devoted Target customers. The mega-retailer is beloved for the large selection of products that make it a convenient one-stop shopping option and the consistently low prices that make it easy to find a bargain. But the next time you go for a Target run, you may notice that the company has gotten rid of something from its stores. Read on to see what the bullseye recently dropped.

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Target is getting rid of its mask requirement for customers and employees.

Target retail store customers checkout line separated from cashier

In an update posted to its website on Feb. 21, Target announced that it was dropping mask requirements for shoppers and staff. A representative from the company confirmed that the new policy had taken immediate effect the day the update was released, NBC News reports.

"As COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the country, Target will not require our U.S. team members or guests to wear masks, as local regulations allow," the company's website states. "We'll follow all state and local COVID-19 safety regulations and encourage our team members and guests to consult the latest public health guidance, get vaccinated, and make decisions to keep themselves and their families safe."

The company is keeping certain precautions in place, including special shopping hours for at-risk customers.

A woman wearing a mask exits a Target store in Midtown.

However, the company isn't doing away with all precautions it put in place during the pandemic. Representatives for Target say stores will still be subject to frequent disinfection and cleaning, plexiglass partitions at registers will remain in place, and shoppers will still be encouraged to socially distance from one another, according to a statement to NBC News.

Notably, Target stores will also continue to hold special shopping hours on Tuesdays for vulnerable or at-risk shoppers, including pregnant women or seniors, to allow them to get in their shopping before locations open to the general public.

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Employees will still have access to COVID-related benefits such as paid sick leave.

A Target storefront with customers entering and exiting

In its statement, the company says it plans to "continue to monitor trends in COVID-19 cases, public health data, and guidance from public health experts moving forward" as it modifies its policies. But for the time being, it's also planning on leaving protections in place for Target employees.

"We'll also continue to provide our team with resources and benefits they need, including free medical-grade masks, COVID-19 tests, paid leave for team members with positive COVID-19 cases, and paid time and free Lyft rides to reduce barriers for team members to get their vaccines," the company told NBC News.

Other companies have recently changed their in-store mask policies for customers and employees.

The exterior of an Apple retail store with shoppers and staff inside

Target isn't the only company to drop mask mandates in locations across the U.S. In a company memo on Feb. 10, Amazon also announced that it would be dropping its mask mandate for vaccinated employees, CNN reported. And according to an internal memo released a day later, Walmart also said that it would be dropping its mask mandate for employees where local regulations allow the change.

Apple has also followed suit, announcing this week that it had dropped mask requirements for customers at most of the company's retail stores nationwide, Bloomberg reports. However, employees will still be required to wear a face-covering while working, and locations in certain states such as Connecticut and New York will still require face masks for customers who are not fully vaccinated.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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