Walmart has made some big changes to their policies this week, as the retailer announced that masks are now required at all of their Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, and that using cash is highly discouraged.
The changes come as Walmart tries to deal with rising COVID-19 infection numbers, as well as a nationwide coin shortage created by the pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know:
You can only use credit/debit or Walmart Pay at self-checkout.
As for the manned checkout lanes, Walmart customers shared on Twitter and with local TV media that the store has been asking customers not to use cash unless they had exact change or were willing to round up their totals — giving the balance to whichever charity their local store supported.
A spokesperson for Walmart told WFMY that indeed, Walmart is actively “asking customers to pay with card or use correct change when possible if they need to pay with cash.”
Walmart will be checking for masks at the store entrance starting July 20.
Walmart has created a new staff role of Health Ambassador, an employee wearing a black polo, who will be posted at the store’s one entrance.
Health Ambassadors receive special training to inform customers of the new policy and engage in problem-solving for shoppers who come to the store without a facial covering.
If you don’t come with a mask, you’ll (probably) receive a free one.
At my local Walmart, they already have Health Ambassadors posted outside the store. And they were handing out free surgical-style masks to shoppers who weren’t wearing one.
While Walmart hasn’t said exactly what will happen if customers come without a mask, the company release said that the Ambassadors would help find a solution. At my store, it was free masks. The policy is inconsistent so far, though; customers at other stores say Walmart isn’t handing out masks.
And at Sam’s Club, Walmart announced that customers without a mask would be given one.
More than 65% of Walmarts had already required masks.
Those locations were in states that had some form of government-mandated mask requirement. Walmart said that besides keeping customers and employees safe, the new across-the-board rule helps keep company policy consistent nationwide.