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May 14, 2021, 6:11 p.m. EDT

Walmart drops mask requirement for vaccinated workers and customers

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By Robbie Whelan, and Sarah Nassauer

American companies began to rethink their requirements for face masks after federal health regulators relaxed their guidelines this week, and on Friday Walmart Inc. made the first big move to bend to the new view.

The U.S.’s largest private employer said it would no longer require vaccinated workers and shoppers to wear masks in stores and warehouses outside of municipalities that require it. Walmart’s /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT -1.85% new no-mask policy for its 1.6 million U.S. workers goes into effect May 18, the company said, while vaccinated customers could shop maskless immediately.

See also : After CDC issues mask guidelines, Walmart and Trader Joe’s issue new policies — Uber and Lyft say nothing will change

That made the country’s largest retailer by revenue an early mover in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance. Executives in sectors ranging from autos to grocers said they were still wrestling with how to respond to the new guidelines, which they note conflicts in many cases with state, local and other protocols specific to certain industries.

Car makers General Motors Co. /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -2.20%  and Toyota Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -4.41%  said they are sticking with existing policies while awaiting guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has jurisdiction over their workplaces and still requires face coverings and social distancing. The agency didn’t immediately update its guidance based on the CDC announcement. OSHA representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com .

Other top stories at WSJ.com

Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Face Masks and End Physical Distancing in Most Settings, CDC Says

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/zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 135.17
-2.55 -1.85%
Volume: 14.88M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
31.42
Dividend Yield
1.63%
Market Cap
$384.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$243,109
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/zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 58.76
-1.32 -2.20%
Volume: 25.20M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.50
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$89.59 billion
Rev. per Employee
$790,226
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 177.03
-8.17 -4.41%
Volume: 734,438
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.77
Dividend Yield
2.24%
Market Cap
$258.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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