Report: Walmart, Other Retailers to ‘Avoid Confrontations’ by Serving Those Who Refuse to Wear Masks

People wearing masks and gloves wait to checkout at Walmart on April 03, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Several major retailers will override their rules and allow customers to enter their stores even if they refuse to wear a mask, according to a CNN report.

Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walgreens, and CVS reportedly said they would not prohibit those who refuse to wear a face-covering from shopping inside their stores; they want to “avoid confrontations between angry customers and employees,” the article states.

The report continues:

Walmart, the largest retailer in the country, said it would station employees it calls health ambassadors at the entrance of stores to remind shoppers about mask compliance as they enter.
But a short training video for health ambassadors makes clear there are limits to the job. If a customer refuses to wear a mask, health ambassadors are instructed to let the employee into the store and notify management “so that they can determine the next steps.”
In talking points for Walmart ambassadors and management, a member of management is instructed to ask if the customer would like a complimentary mask. If the customer refuses, “let them continue to shop,” the talking points say. The video tells ambassadors never to engage with a customer physically or try to block their entrance into the store.

A man in Orlando, Florida, fought with a Walmart employee last month after he refused to wear a mask, according to Breitbart News.

“Ultimately, the man without a mask angrily left the supermarket, but not without the employee telling him that he was ‘spitting all over the fucking place,'” the report said.

“With every requirement there are exceptions that have been established to avoid escalating the situation and putting our associates in harm’s way. Our goal is to keep associates from a physical confrontation in the stores,” a Walmart representative told CNN.

The company announced last week it would implement a mandatory mask requirement beginning on July 20, while Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores said they would only “request” that customers wear one, Breitbart News reported.

Because there was no federal mask mandate and many state and local governments did not require it, retailers were forced to “navigate a patchwork system,” which left them “in the position of having to create their own policies,” the CNN report concluded.

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