Retail giant Walmart has made it mandatory for its customers across the US to wear face coverings starting July 20.
The mandate on Wednesday came as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases spiked in communities across the country recently, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the announcement, about 65 percent of more than 5,000 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club outlets, chain of membership-only retail warehouse owned by the retail giant, are located in the 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.
“This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols,” said the announcement.
In addition to posting clear signs at the front of stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask, said the company, adding that “to help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance”.
At Sam’s Club outlets, associates at the entrance will follow the same process with members, the announcement said.
“Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one. Or members can purchase masks in the club.”
Opening its first store in 1962 in the US state of Arkansas, Walmart has grown over the past decades into the largest retailer in the world, with around 11,500 stores worldwide and fiscal year 2020 revenue of US$ 524 billion, according to the company’s website.