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07/30/2021

Walmart to require masks for store employees in high-risk areas

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Walmart Inc. is reinstating its employee mask mandate but, at least for the time being, it does not apply across all its locations.

The retail giant will require Walmart and Sam’s Club workers in U.S. counties deemed at high risk of COVID-19 transmission to wear a mask — regardless of their vaccination status. And in will encourage, but not require, shoppers to wear masks inside its stores. The move comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new making guidelines and recommend people vaccinated for the coronavirus start wearing masks indoors again. 

Walmart made masks mandatory for all employees in April 2020. A few months later, it extended the requirement to customers. In May 2021, it dropped the requirement for vaccinated employees and shoppers.

Walmart will once again put signage near its store entrances to remind customers about the CDC’s revised guidance. The retailer said it will review store mask rules on a weekly basis going forward.  

Walmart’s mask shift came several days after Apple said it would require employees and customers in select locations to wear masks, as of July 29.

Read More: Bloomberg: Apple stores to require customers to mask up again]