Walmart Drops Mask Mandate for Vaccinated Employees

Walmart has updated its COVID-19 policy for U.S. associates and dropped the requirement for vaccinated employees to wear face masks.
Walmart storefront

The move coincides with changes to mask mandates across several states. Workers must still wear face masks if state or local governments require it. Walmart also dropped its COVID-19-related paid time off, ending the emergency leave policy in March, according to a memo cited by numerous new outlets. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the policy changes.

As the largest retailer in the world, other retailers could follow Walmart’s actions and COVID-19 policies. Walmart was one of the largest retailers to require face masks at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The retail giant had relaxed the requirements for vaccinated employees before reinstating it again in July 2021.

Amazon has taken a similar approach, dropping the facemask requirements for vaccinated warehouse workers. Amazon had re-upped the mask requirement in December amid a surge in Omicron variant cases.

In addition, Amazon updated its paid time off policy, giving COVID-19-related paid leave to warehouse workers who have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by March 18.