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Starting Monday, Walmart Will Require Face Masks in Stores

A woman browses fruit while wearing a face mask.

Some grocery chains, like Trader Joe’s and Costco, have required that customers wear face coverings in their stores for weeks now. Beginning July 20, Walmart will join those ranks, and you’ll be required to wear a mask if you shop there.

On July 15, Walmart announced that both its grocery stores and bulk-buying chain, Sam’s Club, will require customers to wear face masks. The move comes after several states have mandated masks.

Dacona Smith, the chief operating officer of Walmart U.S., and Lance de la Rosa, the chief operating officer of Sam’s Club, explained the decision:

“Currently, about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face-covering starting Monday, July 20.”

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The "current world climate can be quite overwhelming; nevertheless, I am encouraged by the hearts of others. I am optimistic due to my faith in people. I believe that the majority of people desire to showcase love and equality for all. Each day I see a team of associates at Walmart store #249 give maximum efforts to ensure that customers are taken care of – they also ensure that they take care of one another. I am encouraged by the actions of my leadership and peers, who are igniting a spark that will change the world. I am stronger because I am not in this alone. I am stronger because the weight of these trying times won’t last forever.” Aaron, we're stronger because you're a store manager who brings positivity and love to your store, your coworkers, our customers, and the community. Thank you.

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The chosen date gives stores some time to inform customers, put up additional signage, and train staff on new procedures.

To enforce the policy, stores will have “health ambassadors” at the doors to assist customers who need a mask and prevent those without one from entering. To more easily enforce the policy, only one entrance will be open at all stores.

Walmart is one of the first major grocery chains to require masks in its stores, and just hours after its announcement, Kroger followed with a start date of July 22.

Need some masks for your shopping trips? Here are 20 great places to buy reusable masks online.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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