Mask rules still vary from state to state, store to store

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
CDC guidelines cause mask confusion across the tri-state
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Here's what you need to know about wearing a mask in NJ, Pa., Del. and Philadelphia.

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy eliminated the outdoor mask mandate on Monday, but kept the indoor mandate strictly in place.

His announcement comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced their recommendation that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

RELATED: Target, Home Depot no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated customers, workers | List of store policies

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf agreed with the CDC and lifted the indoor and outdoor mask mandates on Thursday, but left it up to individual businesses to decide.

Philadelphia has its own mandates, separate from the rest of the state, and currently, masks must be worn indoors. Delaware will fall in line with the CDC guidelines on Friday, May 21.

Reopening timeline: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware easing restrictions

The CDC also is recommending that schools keep to the current COVID-19 guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing, for the remainder of the school year as most students are not yet fully vaccinated.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association said they support the recommendation, including during sports, except if a child has a medical condition such as asthma.

Several national retailers including Costco, Target, Walmart, Starbucks and Trader Joe's announced they no longer require masks in their stores. However, local mandates trump the stores' decision.

Frank Giammattel, of King of Prussia, shopped at Costco on Monday.

"It's about time. I didn't take my mask off, out of respect, but it's about time. We're due, enough is enough," Giammattel said.

RELATED: Mask or no mask? What you need to know about mask guidelines across the Delaware Valley

Stacy Angelo, also of King of Prussia, said she also kept hers on inside the store.

"They told us right away that you do not have to wear a mask, but I'm not comfortable with it. I think they're doing it too fast," Angelo said.

The CDC said full vaccination means two weeks after your second shot. Reatha Session still has a few more days, so she kept her mask on.

"They just said no mask required. I'm not two weeks out from my vaccine," she said.

Rafa Reed went to a Starbucks on Monday. It was the first time she walked into a store without a mask in over a year.

"It feels amazing to not have to wear a mask and go to places again and have our life back," she said.