LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, will now require customers to wear face coverings in its stores and Sam’s Club locations.
The company says that 65% of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are already in municipalities where masks are mandatory. To be consistent across all its stores and clubs, all shoppers will be required to wear a face covering as of Monday, July 20.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Walmart says they will provide a complimentary mask at Sam’s Club locations, and that masks can also be purchased in stores.
The company says they will also make changes to further stop the spread of COVID-19, such as altering all its stores to have a single entrance and a single exit, and creating the role of Health Ambassador. The new ambassador will wear a black polo shirt and be trained to introduce the new requirements to customers.
“We know some people have differing opinions on this topic,” Walmart’s statement said.
Mask mandates have become a political football throughout the nation, giving rise to a flood of cell phone videos of people becoming angry and lashing out when being asked to wear a face covering. President Donald Trump himself resisted wearing a mask in public, but did so for the first time in months while visiting Walter Reed Medical Center over the weekend.
Face coverings are mandatory in California where social distancing is not possible.