Costco started to allow fully vaccinated members and guests to enter without a face mask or face shield on Friday in jurisdictions that don’t have mask mandates, according to its website. Face coverings are still required in healthcare settings, such as Costco’s pharmacy, optical and hearing aid areas.
New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued Thursday, said that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart from others in most cases, whether indoors or outdoors. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive the second dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.
Walmart said it is offering a cash incentive and the freedom to work mask-free as part of a push to get more of its workforce vaccinated.
“We’re encouraging all associates to get vaccinated and help end this pandemic,” they said in the memo. “Do it for your health, your family, your friends, your community and your country – let’s help reach our national vaccination goals by the Fourth of July.”
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden set a goal of getting 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by the national holiday. As of Thursday, roughly 47% of the U.S. population — more than 154 million Americans — have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the CDC. About 118 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the agency.
Walmart executives said in the memo that the retailer “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 policy. They did not say if, or how, Walmart will verify if customers are vaccinated or not.
For employees who want to work without wearing a mask at a store, distribution center or other facility, Walmart said it will verify their status by asking them if they have or have not gotten vaccinated. It will rely on the person’s “yes” or “no” answer during a daily health assessment.
“Integrity is one of our core values, and we trust that associates will respect that principle when answering,” they said in the memo.
However, to get a vaccine-related bonus, Walmart said employees will have to show their original, completed vaccine cards to a store leader or human resources manager. Starting next Tuesday, each person is eligible to receive $75 “as a thank you for getting vaccinated.” All U.S. employees below the level of store manager are eligible.
This content was originally published here.