Walmart and Sam’s Club will no longer ask customers or employees who are fully vaccinated to wear masks, the seller announced Friday.
The change for customers is now in effect and will be in the honor system, Walmart confirmed to USA TODAY. It comes the day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for masking.
According to a letter sent to U.S. workers at Walmart and Sam’s Club, employees who have been vaccinated can start working without masks as of Tuesday and will be asked about vaccination status on a health assessment.
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“Starting today, vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask, and we will continue to require unvaccinated customers and members to wear face blankets in our stores and clubs,” the letter to employees said. “We will update the labels in our facilities to reflect this.”
There are some exceptions to the updated policy, Walmart said, and masks “will still be needed in some city and state ordinances, and we will follow those requirements.”
Walmart also said he was giving a $ 75 bonus to “American field associates in gratitude for the vaccination.” This applies to “Walmart in the field, associates of Sam’s Club and the supply chain, hourly and paid, below the level of managers.”
Employees will need to provide proof of vaccination to receive the bonus, a process the company says begins Tuesday.
Merchant Joe’s also announced Friday that customers who are vaccinated and can buy without a mask. Merchant Joe’s employees still have to wear masks.
Costco gave up the policy of disguise in some of their clubs and on Friday, but will still need them in pharmacies and optical departments.
The CDC said Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans generally no longer need to wear masks indoors and do not have to wear them outdoors, even in crowded areas.
But private companies may still require masks, which is the case in most states the largest retailers began their mandate last summer. There are other exceptions when the CDC recommends masks such as health facilities, transportation hubs such as airports and stations, airplanes and public transportation.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko