Shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they were relaxing COVID-19 protocols for the fully vaccinated, big box stores started doing the same.

Walmart and Sam's Club stores are just two of many big businesses to announce new and much more relaxed policies when it comes to COVID-19. According to a press release from the company, customers who are fully vaccinated can shop in stores without a mask, effective immediately. Workers that are fully vaccinated can ditch their mask beginning Tuesday (May 18th).

Walmart says they will use the honor system when it comes to those shopping in store but ask that customers wear a mask if they aren't fully vaccinated. As mentioned, they will not be asking for proof. Employees will be asked about their vaccination status and can proceed from there.

In their statement to the public, it was also noted that they will continue to update their COVID-19 protocols as things change and will make the public aware of them as they roll the new policies out.

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The biggest thing to note here is that although Walmart stores are dropping their mask mandates, they may be overruled by mandates in different cities and states. While Minnesota and Duluth have dropped their mask requirements for the fully vaccinated, there are stores that fall under different jurisdictions that may still require masks. In this case, you will still need to mask up while shopping in stores.

It should also be noted that everything mentioned above applies to Sam's Club stores as well, as they are owned by the same company.

There are several Walmart locations in the Northland, including in Hermantown and Superior. There is also a Sam's Club location in Hermantown.

Target is also another big box store that announced they were dropping their face mask mandates nationwide, just days after stating that they would not be dropping their face mask mandate just yet.

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