Walmart follows CDC, eliminates masks for the fully vaccinated

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(AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Walmart customers and employees will no longer need to wear masks inside stores beginning May 18, as long as they’re fully vaccinated, according to a memo from company leaders.

The order is in line with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that came out this week.

The policy change has also been adopted in some Costco locations, however Kroger says it will require masks until all frontline workers receive the vaccine. Kroger is offering employees a $100 bonus to get the vaccine.

The Walmart memo, released Friday, says “fully vaccinated” means it has been two weeks since a person received the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The vaccination policy will also apply to Sam’s Club employees and customers.

The memo says it will use the honor system to allow employees to drop their masks.

To be eligible to work without a mask, associates need to answer ‘yes’ to the vaccination question in the daily health assessment. If you are not vaccinated, we expect you to answer ‘no’ and to continue to wear a face covering.  Integrity is one of our core values, and we trust that associates will respect that principle when answering.

Memo from John Furner, President and CEO – Walmart U.S.; Kath McLay, President and CEO – Sam’s Club; and Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President – Health and Wellness

Although the mask provision depends on honesty, employees will be required to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated in order to receive a $75 cash bonus.

Unvaccinated customers will be asked to wear face coverings. The memo does not specify whether customers will be required to provide proof of vaccination before going mask-free.

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