Walmart customers, employees who are vaccinated won't need to wear masks in stores

The company's announcement departs from other major retailers, including Target, that said they will keep pandemic protocols.

Walmart customers, employees who are vaccinated won't need to wear masks in stores

Exterior view of a Walmart store on August 23, 2020 in North Bergen, New Jersey. Walmart saw its profits jump in latest quarter as e-commerce sales surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Walmart said on Friday that customers who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 will not need to wear a mask in its stores.

In a memo sent to employees, the retailer said the change in its mask policy takes effect immediately at Walmart stores and its membership club, Sam's Club. Starting Tuesday, it said employees who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask while working.

The company pointed to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued on Thursday, which said that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or stay six feet apart from others in most cases, whether indoors or outdoors.

In the memo, Walmart executives said they "will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs." They said stores will have updated signs that reflect that new request. 

They did not say if, or how, Walmart will verify who is or who is not vaccinated.

This story is developing and will be updated.