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Walmart drops mask mandate for fully vaccinated customers

Walmart, the country's largest retailer, says the new, relaxed rules on masks applies to all its stores, clubs and other locations where it operates.

Walmart announced Friday that fully vaccinated customers can shop at Walmart and Sam's Club without wearing a face mask, following new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The nation's largest retailer's announcement did not indicate that it plans to ask for any proof of vaccination.

Walmart says the new, relaxed rules applies to all its stores, clubs and other locations where it operates.

"We are also reviewing whether masks may still be required for certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes and will share additional guidance soon," read a statement from Walmart executives John Furner, Kath McLay and Dr. Cheryl Pegus.

RELATED: Costco says fully vaccinated customers no longer need to wear masks, with exceptions

However, Walmart says it will follow state and local ordinances on mask use. If a store is located in a jurisdiction that still requires masks, then shoppers will need to wear one regardless of whether they've been vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Walmart employees must continue wearing masks, and those who are vaccinated will still have the option of wearing a mask if they choose. Those workers who are fully vaccinated will be able to stop wearing masks at work starting Tuesday, May 18. Those workers will also be eligible for a $75 bonus.

A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

The CDC on Thursday eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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