Hampton Roads residents experience the transition from masks

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 3:24 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 18:13:54-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – It is a time of transition regarding COVID-19 regulations.

On Friday, both Gov. Ralph Northam and Gov. Roy Cooper announced that those who are fully vaccinated in Virginia and North Carolina can go without a mask in many settings.

The bottom line is: For those who plan to be out and about, you should bring along a mask because some establishments require one and some don’t.

We caught up with a few shoppers outside a Kroger grocery store. Kroger, Target, Home Depot and CVS are among those that have stated they’ll still require a mask at this time.

“I was definitely looking forward to not wearing one while walking in, but out of respect for other people, I’m happy to do it,” said Cody Hancock, who was on his way into Kroger. “I’m definitely looking forward to never putting it on again, but for a little while more, I can handle it.”

Meanwhile, shopper Veronica Coats not only is okay with wearing a mask, she feels that right now, all Virginians should still wear one.

“I’m an elderly person, over 65. I don’t think any of us should be out without a mask on. I’ve been immunized at this point, but it’s still so chancy,” Coats stated. “I think all people here in Virginia should still be wearing them, and I think it should be enforced.”

Gov. Northam stated that masks will still be required in healthcare facilities, public transport, correctional facilities, K-12 settings and homeless shelters. Also, individual businesses can still require masks for their employees and customers and can refuse service to customers if they refuse to wear a mask.

Related: Virginia Beach ice cream shop defends enforcement of mask policy

Retail giant Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe's have said they will allow fully vaccinated customers to be maskless unless state law says otherwise.

Sue Pankow was excited to shop at Trader Joe’s without a mask but seemed understanding.

“I did have my mask with me because if I get a funny look, I don’t want someone to feel uncomfortable, so I’m still in that transition side,” explained Pankow. “Knowing I’m fully vaccinated and we’re all still trying to figure this out, trying to do the right thing but also knowing I’m ready to move on,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Navy has also put out a message stating, "Mask wear for fully immunized personnel (two weeks beyond final dose) is no longer required indoors or outdoors at Department of Defense facilities. Immunized personnel should continue to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn."

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.