MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Walmart is the latest company to require some of its employees to get COVID-19 vaccine.
The nation’s largest retailer announced on Friday it is requiring all home office workers as well as management-level staff members who travel within the U.S. be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 4 to help curb the spread of the virus.READ MORE: ‘I Have Goose Bumps’: Zoo Miami's Ron Magil On 'Rita' Laying 2nd Egg On Live Bald Eagle Cam
The vaccine mandate excludes frontline workers, who the company says, have a lower vaccination rate than management. But it’s hoping that management will serve as an inspiration for its workers.
Walmart is also reversing its mask policy and will require all its workers, including vaccinated ones in areas with high infection rates, to wear masks.
Both the vaccine and mask mandate policy take effect immediately.
Walmart is also bringing back so-called health ambassadors who will be positioned at the entrances and hand out masks.READ MORE: Boca Raton Man Faces Charges In Fatal Crash That Killed Homestead Mom, Daughter On Thanksgiving Eve
Customers will not be required to wear a mask, but facilities will post signs to remind them of the CDC’s new guidelines, and will strongly encourage the use of masks.
While Walmart is not mandating that employees get vaccinated, it is doubling the incentive for workers in stores, clubs, transportation, distribution center and fulfillment centers to get the vaccine for $150. Those who already received the $75 incentive will receive another $75 in their paycheck dated Aug 19.
The decision to reinstate a mask mandate comes following updated guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Tuesday, recommending that fully vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in areas with high transmission rates of COVID-19 which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
Most other large retailers including Target, Trader Joe’s, and Costco are also re-evaluating their policies.
Publix updated their mask policy on Friday telling employees they have to start wearing masks again starting Monday, August 2.MORE NEWS: Kyle Lowry Scores 19 Points, Heat Beat Bulls 107-104
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