The American distribution giant Walmart, which has several times set the tone on the instructions to be followed since the start of the pandemic, asked all its employees on Friday to put the mask back on in areas where the coronavirus is virulent.
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For customers, Walmart plans to post posters at the entrance of its establishments
to cover their lower face without requiring them to do so. Walmart says it is following the advice of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main federal public health agency in the United States, which has once again advocated wearing masks indoors in areas where blood circulation occurs. virus is important, even for vaccinated people. The new rule therefore applies to employees working in supermarkets, warehouses and offices, whether or not they have received the serum, says Walmart on its website. The group will indicate affected areas each week, based on new CDC data on transmission rates.
Last summer, when the mask had become in the United States a symbol of political affiliation between pro and anti-Trump, Walmart took a stand by making it compulsory to wear in its stores, at the risk of displeasing some of its customers. .
The number one American distributor, and one of the largest private employers in the country, had been followed by many other chains.
In May, in the aftermath of the CDC's announcement of an easing of mask recommendations, Walmart decided that facial protection was no longer mandatory in its stores but remained in force when local law required it. demanded. The spread of the Delta variant, which is sparking Covid-19 cases around the world, has since been a game-changer and many companies are taking new measures.
Disney has also re-imposed this week the mask on its visitors in the closed places of its amusement parks. Google and Facebook announced Wednesday that they would require all their employees brought to their premises to be vaccinated. Uber followed suit Thursday, according to US media. Walmart will also require employees working at headquarters and those working in regional offices and traveling regularly to be vaccinated by October 4, according to an internal memo seen by AFP. Twitter has for its part decided to close the New York and San Francisco offices, and to put on hold all plans to reopen other sites.
Joe Biden also took a series of measures Thursday to boost vaccination in the United States, including requiring millions of federal employees either to be vaccinated or to wear masks continuously and submit to regular testing.