Home News Walmart says fully vaccinated employees can go without masks starting Tuesday

Walmart says fully vaccinated employees can go without masks starting Tuesday

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Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is going maskless.

The nation’s largest retailer on Friday said that fully vaccinated employees will no longer need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday.

Vaccinated customers, including vaccinated members of its and Sam’s Club stores, can shop maskless starting Friday.

Walmart made the announcement after the CDC on Thursday released controversial new guidance allowing vaccinated people to ditch their masks indoors and outdoors. Walmart is the first major retailer to walk back its mandatory mask policy.

Unvaccinated Walmart associates will still be required to wear masks, as will vaccinated employees working in states where local laws still require masks.

Walmart employee and shopper
Vaccinated Walmart employees can ditch the masks starting Tuesday.
REUTERS

New York is among the states that have not yet dropped the mask requirement adopted last year in an effort to curtail the deadly coronavirus.

Signs reflecting the company’s new policy will be placed in stores next week, the company said.

Other retailers are taking a more cautious approach amid criticisms from labor unions that they could be putting their workers at risk. Macy’s, Target, CVS and Kroger are all reviewing the new guidance, while Home Depot has said it’s not dropping its mask requirements.

Walmart staffers will still be subject to a daily “health assessment,” which asks whether or not they are vaccinated. The company is relying on employees to be truthful, but is also working on a digital “solution” to move away from the daily vaccination question, it said.

In an effort to encourage all of its associates to get vaccinated, Walmart is giving out a $75 bonuses to staffers who show their vaccination cards.

“We’re providing $75 to US field associates as a thank you for getting vaccinated,” Walmart said in a note to all US associates on its website. “We’ve been through a lot this year, and now we need to do our part to finish this.”

The new edict applies to all of Walmart’s facilities, including its warehouses and Sam’s Club stores.

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