Planning a trip to Walmart to pick up a few things? Don’t forget your face mask.
Officials from both Walmart and Sam’s Club announced today (July 15) that all customers will be required to wear a face covering before being allowed to step inside their stores. The rule is set to go into effect on Monday (July 20) in order to give their loyal shoppers time to hear about and adjust to the change, as well as train their employees on new protocols.
The statement explains, “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 cite the CDC’s continued recommendation for the use of face masks in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. “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 covering in public and social distance.”
The company will be adding signage in their stores across the country alerting customers to the new rule. They are also reducing their entrances to just one per store and adding Health Ambassadors who will be stationed at those areas to “remind those without a face mask of our new requirements.” The statement adds, “Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”
Walmart and Sam’s Club are now among several other stores that require their customers wear face coverings, including Best Buy and Costco, which have faced mixtures of gratitude and backlash from shoppers for the decision. As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart’s statement acknowledges that although “some people have differing opinions on this topic” they also “recognize the role we play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC.”
Again, the requirement will go into effect on Monday, June 20, so be sure to grab a mask if you plan on shopping at your local Walmart or Sam’s Club.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.