Walmart, the largest retail chain in the United States, will stop requiring the use of masks to employees and customers vaccinated against COVID-19 in certain locations after the country’s health authorities recommended that the population immunized against the coronavirus could stop using it, local media reported.
The company clarified, however, that the new instruction will apply according to the rules dictated by local authorities regarding the protection protocols against COVID-19.
On the island, the company specified that the requirement to use facial coverage will be maintained.
“In Puerto Rico we continue to use masks,” said Iván Báez, director of Public Affairs at Walmart Puerto Rico this afternoon.
Yesterday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English), Rochelle Walensky, said that “anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in activities inside and outside, large and small, without having to wear a mask or keep a physical distance. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things you stopped doing because of the pandemic. “
However, later in Puerto Rico, the Secretary of Health, Carlos Mellado, reiterated the agency’s position regarding the use of this disease prevention measure: “I remain firm in my position, we must continue to use the mask to protect ourselves from COVID-19 and prevent infections, both residents and visitors in Puerto Rico. This is not the time to be flexible, it is time to be firm and strict to end this pandemic. My exhortation will be that we keep using the mask, physical distancing and recurrent hand washing and we continue to respect the safety and health protocols as we have done so far ”.
According to an internal statement from the company, quoted by the CNBC channel, in the markets that apply, customers can dispense with the use of protective masks from this Friday, while employees will be able to stop putting them on from next Tuesday. As for the workers of the retail chain, the company specified that it will limit itself to asking its employees in writing whether they have been vaccinated or not, before allowing them to dispense with the use of the mask.