As DC mask mandate ends, here are the new mask policies at grocery stores, retailers

D.C.’s indoor mask mandate is set to end Monday, Nov. 22 — nearly four months after it was reimposed amid a surge in cases over the summer driven by the more infectious delta variant.

Starting Monday, businesses can set their own mask policies, according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser who said the city is moving toward providing risk-based recommendations rather than government edicts.

So where will you still see masks in D.C. as you do some last-minute Thanksgiving shopping next week and beyond?

Representatives of several major retailers in D.C. say, starting Monday, they will encourage customers to wear masks, but no longer require them. Employees will still be required to wear masks on the job.

Here’s a quick rundown.

At Giant Food, which operates seven grocery stores across the District, customers will have the option to wear or not wear a mask while shopping in stores, a spokesman told WTOP. However, all store employees will be required to wear masks while working.

There will be a similar policy at the 12 Safeway grocery store locations in D.C. Safeway employees will continue to wear masks but customers will only be encouraged to wear masks if they haven’t been vaccinated.

Retailer Target, which has four locations in D.C., strongly recommends that customers wear masks while shopping but, in the absence of the D.C. mandate, will not require them. Because D.C. remains in “substantial transmission,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Target will continue to have its employees wear masks while on the job, per its national policy.

At CVS Health locations in D.C., employees are also required to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. Customers will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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