Most of us here in New Jersey were breathing easier after Governor Phil Murphy lifted the mask mandates (for those of us that are fully vaccinated). However, private businesses have the right to require masks if they see fit, which has a lot of people confused and child stars like Ricky Schroder very upset. So it might be helpful to see a list in advance of at least 15 major chains that are still requiring you to mask up.
When I walk into major stores mask-free I feel a bit naked, I feel very free yet very self conscious. I wonder what other shoppers are thinking of me. Am I selfish? Am I a risk-taker? Do they wonder where I stand politically? I'm just trying to get milk. I don't want to prove a point or have a debate, I just need milk.
I'm fully vaccinated and there are times that I want to wear my vax card on my shirt so I'm not judged. Some stores are making the decision for us, at least for now, and I thought it would be helpful to know what stores are still requiring us to wear masks so we can avoid the uncomfortable conversation with an employee...who by the way I know does not want to have the conversation with us either.
I know that some people are confused especially because some store fronts still have signs or decals out front saying to wear masks but they are allowing the choice for vaccinated people. By the way, we in America are VERY uncomfortable with the honor system so unless they are checking vax IDs at the door like a bar, who really knows who is telling the truth anyway? This has people upset and it's understandable.
There are just so many inconsistencies too...I've shopped in some stores and people are supposed to wear masks and it is simply not being enforced. At some point you say to yourself, "I don't know where stores stand so why not just wear a mask" but if you are fully vaxed, when is the point of unmasking? Is it ever?
Of course policies are changing daily to make things even more confusing but as of now here is what we have:
• TJ Maxx
• Home Sense
• Home Goods
• Giant Eagle
• Apple Stores
• Rite Aid
• BJ's (Optical Departments)
• Bed, Bath, and Beyond
• Shop Rite (depends on the store, some are not requiring masks any longer, you may want to call in advance to ask). Read more about this here.