Walmart to allow vaccinated shoppers, workers to go maskless

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, says that it won’t require vaccinated shoppers or workers to wear a mask in its U.S. stores unless state or local laws say otherwise

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Friday that it won’t require vaccinated shoppers or workers to wear a mask in its U.S. stores unless state or local laws say otherwise.

Vaccinated shoppers can go maskless immediately, the company said. Vaccinated workers can stop wearing them on Tuesday. As an incentive, Walmart said it is offering workers $75 if they prove they’ve been vaccinated.

Customers won’t be asked but rather held to an “honor system” regarding their vaccination status, Walmart said.

“Integrity is one of our core values, and we trust that associates will respect that principle when answering,” the memo states. To get the bonus, workers will have to show their original vaccination certificate.

Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with roughly 1.5 million workers in the U.S. including those at Sam’s Club, distribution centers and in corporate and managerial jobs.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Walmart was one of the first retailers to mandate masks last July. Its move to allow vaccinated shoppers and workers to not wear masks could lead other chains to follow suit.