Attention Walmart shoppers: Face coverings will soon be required in all stores

A shopper at a Walmart in Midtown Anchorage on March 4, 2020. (Julia O’Malley/Alaska Public Media)

Walmart shoppers will soon be required to wear face coverings, as the company aims to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement announcing the decision Wednesday, the company said around 65 percent of its Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs are already in places where governments have mandated face coverings. It says this decision will bring consistency to all of its stores.

There are eight Walmart stores in Alaska. The Anchorage stores would be subject to the city’s mask mandate, but Walmart’s new rules will impact shoppers in Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kenai, Fairbanks and Wasilla.

“We know some people have differing opinions on this topic,” the statement says. “We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC.”

The company says employees will be trained to work with customers who are unable to wear a face covering.

The requirement goes into effect on Monday, July 20.

Correction: This story was updated to include the Kenai Walmart in the list of those impacted by the mask requirement.