NEW YORK—Walmart is no longer requiring fully vaccinated employees to wear a mask unless required by state or local governments, reports CNN. If an employee is unvaccinated or works in the pharmacy, or other health-related settings, they must wear a mask.
The retailer also will no longer give employees sick pay if they are out with COVID-19. The company’s emergency leave policy will end in March, unless required by state or local governments, and Walmart will be phasing out daily health screenings, except for employees in California, New York and Virginia, because the screenings are a state requirement.
Walmart had a similar relaxation of its mask mandate for fully vaccinated employees last spring, but once Delta variant cases rose, it implemented a company-wide mask requirement, regardless of vaccination status, last July.
Amazon also is lifting its mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees, and it will no longer require masks inside warehouses and restricted COVID-19 paid leave for unvaccinated employees.
Several states have plans to lift mask mandates as the Omicron variant subsides, from California to New York. Yesterday, the mayor of Washington, D.C., announced that the district’s indoor mask mandate will expire Feb. 28. Starting March 1, masks will not be required at restaurants, bars, sports and entertainment venues, gyms, houses of worship, retail establishments and more, Fox5DC reports. The school mask mandate still stands. Plus, starting today, patrons of restaurants and entertainment venues in the district will no longer be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.