By Aug. 12, all Walmart customers along with employees will be required to wear masks or face coverings across Canada, a company spokesperson says.
Walmart Canada corporate affairs manager Felicia Fefer told the Thompson Citizen that 60 per cent of the company’s 400 Canadian stores are in regions where local governments have mandated face coverings and that the policy will be applied to all the remaining stores next week to create consistency and help lessen the likelihood of customers or workers being exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“Starting August 12, 2020, we are now requiring all customers and associates working in any Walmart store not already subject to a local government mandate to wear a mask or face covering in areas of our stores accessible to the public,” said Fefer. “Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets. Safety continues to be Walmart’s number one priority and we will continue to take measures necessary to ensure the well-being of our customers and associates.”
Fefer said customers in other parts of Canada where wearing face masks has been mandated by government have overwhelmingly followed those recommendations.
“We trust that customers in the rest of our stores where we are initiating this the policy will respect and follow it and will bring their own face coverings when they shop,” she said.
The face mask requirement is the latest step Walmart has taken to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, along with increased cleaning of stores, temperature checks for all employees at the start of each shift, limits on the number of people in stores, cleaning of shopping carts, floor markings and one-way aisles to encourage physical distancing, and installing plexiglass dividers at registers and customer service desks, as well as pharmacies.