Walmart announced today it will begin requiring customers to wear face coverings starting July 20.
The same rule will apply at Sam’s Clubs. The announcement came from Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dadona Smith and Sam’s Club COO Lance da la Rosa.
“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,” they stated. “According to the CDC, face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.”
Shoppers at Fry’s Food Store will have to don masks beginning Wednesday, July 22, parent company Kroger announced Wednesday afternoon.
In a tweet, Kroger said it is “committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus.” It noted that its employees will continue to wear masks.
At the Walmart Superstore in Maricopa, staff has been recommending all shoppers wear face masks. The store decreased its entry locations to just the grocery side.
The stores will post signs and train personnel on the new policy. Walmart “ambassadors” will talk to customers who show up at a store without a face covering and remind them of the policy.
“We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20,” the statement says.
Sam’s Club will have complimentary masks available, or members can purchase one they prefer.
“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering,” they stated. “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.”
The move comes with the increase of COVID-19 cases across the county. About 65% of Walmart stores are in areas that already have a government mandate to wear face coverings in public places. Smith and de la Rosa said the new policy is an effort to bring consistency to store protocol and protect its shoppers.