Starting next Monday, July 20, customers at all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores nationwide will be required to wear masks.

While the new policy is sure to ruffle some feathers, the company stressed that their focus and priority has been on the health and safety of associates, members and customers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic:

We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can 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. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates.

With the announcement, Walmart joins an expanding list of retailers who require face coverings in their stores. Best Buy, Costco and Apple currently have the requirement.

Of course, Texas is already under a mask order, but Walmart elected to wait until July 20 to give them time to “inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.”

In addition to posting clear signage at the front of the stores, the company announced the creation of the Health Ambassador position. The Health Ambassador will be posted near the entrance of the store and will work with customers who show up without a face covering.

When it comes to those who can’t wear a mask, Walmart associates will be trained to understand those exceptions to ease tensions and make the process as easy as possible.

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