Walmart announced on Wednesday it will require shoppers to wear a face covering starting on July 20 in all stores and clubs across the U.S.
The move by the nation's largest retailer comes as coronavirus cases have surged in various states including Texas, California and Florida.
Walmart noted that currently about 65 percent of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. The new policy is in place to help bring consistency, the company said.
“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,” Dacona Smith, Walmart U.S. chief operating officer, and Lance de la Rosa, Sam’s Club chief operating officer, wrote in a press release.
Walmart created a health ambassador position for each store and will station them near the entrance of stores, along with clear signage, to remind people without a mask of the policy. The ambassadors will receive special training and be identifiable by black polo shirts.
The company added that the ambassador will work with customers who show up at the store without a covering to try to find a solution, and it is currently considering different solutions for customers for when this takes effect.
Stores will also have a single entrance, the company said. Sam’s Club branches will have associates at entrances to remind customers of the policy as well.
“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone,” Smith and de la Rosa wrote.