Walmart is instituting a mandatory mask policy for all customers in Canada starting Wednesday.
The rule is being brought in because Health Canada has said face coverings can reduce the spread of COVID-19, said Walmart Canada spokeswoman Felicia Fefer.
It will also create a consistent policy across the chain’s more than 400 Canadian stores, Fefer said.
More than 60 per cent of Walmart stores are in parts of the country where there is already a local mandate on face coverings.
“Customers have done a great job following face-covering requirements in those jurisdictions where it is mandated by the local government. We trust that customers in the rest of our stores where we are initiating this the policy will respect and follow it and will bring their own face coverings when they shop,” Fefer wrote in an email.
All staff will also be required to wear face coverings in areas of Walmart stores that are used by the public.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said she doesn’t expect the province to mandate mask-wearing in outdoor spaces, but mandatory masks could be an option if community transmission increases in places like public transit buses and retail stores.
Henry has said she wears a mask indoors when she can’t physically distance and it’s gratifying to see more people covering up.