Walmart and Sam’s Club will begin requiring customers across the U.S. to wear face masks and coverings when entering their stores beginning next week.
In a blog post released Wednesday, the company said it will begin requiring shoppers to wear facial coverings before entering the store beginning Monday, July 20, in an effort to make customers and employees safer and to bring more consistency to how its stores operate. They said that 65 percent of its 5,000+ stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate about face coverings.
“While we’re certainly not the first business to require face coverings, we know this is a simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others in our facilities,” they wrote in the post. As Walmart references in its post, the CDC recommends that “people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
The company said it will be training its staff in its stores and clubs on the new policy before it goes into effect and will display signage informing customers of it as well. Walmart will also be implementing a “health ambassador,” who will stand near the entrance of the store to remind those without a mask of the new requirements.
“Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution,” the company wrote. All stores will have a single entrance to make things run more smoothly. Sam’s Club will follow a similar process and complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one.
Walmart appeared to acknowledge the recent viral videos of customers refusing to wear masks in places like Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, and its own stores by saying that they know “people have differing opinions on this topic” but they “recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC.”
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