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Walmart to require masks for retail workers in Covid hot spots

The world's largest retailer had said in May fully vaccinated employees could work without masks.
/ Source: Reuters

Walmart has made it mandatory for its retail workers in U.S. counties with substantial or high transmission of coronavirus to wear masks in its stores, clubs and distribution centers, according to a memo.

The move comes as U.S. health officials said earlier this week Americans fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly.

The world's largest retailer had said in May fully vaccinated employees could work without masks.

The memo also showed Walmart retail workers would post signage at its stores to encourage customers to wear masks. Retail workers would also receive an incentive of $150, double the amount it had been paying, to get inoculated, with those already paid $75 set to receive the rest next month.

Store managers should regularly check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for potential changes to mask guidance in different locations, the memo added.

The company's chief executive also told corporate staff and managers that they must be vaccinated by Oct. 4, according to a memo obtained by CNBC.

“We want to get to a place where we can use our offices and be together safely,” Doug McMillon wrote. “It’s important for our business, our culture, our speed and our innovation.”