Walmart ends mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, employees

Vaccinated customers will be permitted to shop in stores without masks, effective Friday

Walmart said Friday that it would lift its mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees and customers in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fully vaccinated employees will no longer be required to wear masks in stores as of Tuesday, May 18, the company said in a memo. Vaccinated customers will be permitted to shop in stores without masks effective Friday.

Walmart executives said employees will need to affirm they have been fully vaccinated in the company’s daily health assessment in order to work without a mask. Employees who have yet to be vaccinated must still wear a face covering.

"We’re encouraging all associates to get vaccinated and help end this pandemic," the memo said. "Do it for your health, your family, your friends, your community and your country – let’s help reach our national vaccination goals by the Fourth of July."

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WMT WALMART, INC. 135.96 -1.07 -0.78%

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The company said it would offer a $75 bonus to all employees below the level of facility manager for getting vaccinated. Employees need to provide proof in order to qualify for the payout.

Non-vaccinated customers will also be asked to wear masks. The memo noted that face masks may still be required at certain Walmart stores due to state or local health ordinances. 

Walmart first implemented its mask requirement at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

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Earlier this week, the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks at indoor gathering. Full vaccination is defined as two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.