BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Friday it will not require shoppers or vaccinated workers to wear masks in its U.S. stores unless state or local laws say so opposite.
Vaccinated buyers can go without masks immediately, the company said. Vaccinated workers can stop wearing them on Tuesday. As an incentive, Walmart said it was offering workers $ 75 if they prove they were vaccinated.
Customers will not be interviewed but instead will be held to an “honor system” regarding their immunization status, Walmart said.
Workers, however, will need to answer “yes” to a vaccination question during a daily health check in order to dispense with the mask, the company said in a note to employees posted on its company website.
“Integrity is one of our core values, and we are confident that associates will respect this principle when they respond,” the memo States. To benefit from the premium, workers must present their original vaccination certificate.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said it offers vaccines at its more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, and at special events.
Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with around 1.5 million workers in the United States, including those at Sam’s Club, distribution centers, and corporate and executive jobs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed mask wearing guidelines on Thursday for fully immunized people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outside in crowds and in most indoor environments.
Walmart was one of the first retailers to impose masks last July. His decision to allow buyers and vaccinated workers not to wear masks could lead other chains to follow suit.