Charles Krupa / AP
Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, announced on Friday that customers are no longer required to wear masks in their more than 5,000 stores across the country.
The retail store changed the rules one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was safe for fully vaccinated adults to resume most activities, indoors or outdoors, in groups or individually, without masks and without social distancing. .
Walmart wants customers who have not yet received their vaccine to continue wearing the mask, Walmart said in a statement.
“According to the CDC, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in most indoor and outdoor environments,” the news release said. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have passed since a person received the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. “
Walmart also gave employees two new reasons to get their vaccine: masks will become optional for fully vaccinated employees on Tuesday, and proof of vaccination will bring a $ 75 bonus. Unvaccinated employees will have to continue wearing masks, some health and sanitation. positions may need to do the same.
For employees, the only barrier between the ongoing pandemic procedure and the world without masks is the daily health assessment, in which employees are expected to respond correctly to the vaccine.
“If you have not been vaccinated, we expect you to answer ‘no’ and continue to wear a face cover. Integrity is one of our core values and we believe that staff will adhere to this principle when responding,” the news release said. .
If cities and states still need masks, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in those areas will comply.
Other outlets are expected to have similar rules, saying they will comply with state and local regulations. Many of these authorities have declared the mask mandate over – some after the announcement of the new guidelines, and others earlier.