As the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges, retailer Target will now be requiring its employees to don masks again.
“We’ll follow all local mandates, as we have throughout the pandemic, and continue to monitor guidance from the CDC closely. We will also maintain all of our health and safety protocols that include increased cleaning measures and social distancing,” the company said per a release.
The company says it also plans to encourage its employees and guests to get the COVID-19 vaccines. It will be offering vaccine appointments at almost all CVS and Target locations. Target will also be providing paid time off and free Lyft rides for employees when they get vaccinated.
Just as America was beginning to return to normal life, including going back to restaurants and bars more, the rise of the Delta variant has complicated that.
PYMNTS wrote that the trend has been largely turning toward masking up even if one happens to be vaccinated — a reversal from the past several months, in which the CDC had said it was OK for the unvaccinated to go without masks.
The recent developments have seen restauranteurs like Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, finding that the data all pointed towards more stringent regulations.
“[W]hat I see is that this is a crisis of people who have not been vaccinated, and I feel strong responsibility, on our part as business leaders, to take care of our team and our guests, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said, per PYMNTS.
He said his company is also working to incentivize vaccinations by offering eight hours of paid time off per dose. He said he believed the company’s vaccine policies would mark a better future for it.
“I think the vast majority of people who dine out, especially indoors, don’t want to see us go back to how things were,” he said.