Walmart: Masks mandatory for employees, 'strongly encouraged' for customers

Walmart: Masks mandatory for employees, 'strongly encouraged' for customers
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Walmart is making masks mandatory for employees and recommending customers wear them as well.

All employees regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear masks depending on where they live, the company announced Friday, aligning itself with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

"We remain focused on guidance issued by health experts, including the CDC, as well as state and local health departments," said a memo sent to Walmart employees and obtained by The Hill.

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“We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately,” it added.

The policy is "not applicable in all stores," and managers will monitor the CDC website each week for local updates, according to USA Today.

The CDC said fully vaccinated individuals only have to mask up if they are in areas with high or substantial coronavirus transmission, though as of Thursday that included nearly 70 percent of counties across the country.

There will be signs posted to “strongly encourage” customers to wear a mask, but it won’t be required, Walmart said.

The change in policy comes two months after most stores dropped their mask requirements for individuals who are fully vaccinated.

—Updated at 1:22 p.m.