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9 Things You Won’t See in Walmart Anymore

With safety measures constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up with the changes. We have you covered.

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Man wearing a mask walking away from a WalmartSCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

Things are looking up! With more accessible vaccination rollouts and mask mandates being lifted, it finally seems like we can see the end of the coronavirus tunnel (but we still want to avoid germs when grocery shopping.) There have been many changes over the past year due to the pandemic that it can be hard to keep up with the constantly changing policies. While things are starting to go back to “normal,” there are still some safety guidelines to be aware of. Walmart is one of the many industry chains that have announced changes to ensure the safety of its employees and customers as best as they can. Make sure you’re up to date on all the guidelines in place and most importantly, stay safe.

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Large crowd outside a WalmartMARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

Limited capacity

Walmart formerly allowed only five customers per 1,000 square feet of space. This means that stores were at about 20 percent capacity at any given time. This mandate has been lifted so typical Walmart foot traffic should bounce back. But it’s important to note that Walmart is following any local capacity limits so this could be adjusted depending on location guidelines.

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Walmart exterior at nightSARAH SILBIGER/GETTY IMAGES

24-hour stores

No more late-night trips for Advil and chips. All stores will close at 11 p.m. to ensure proper cleaning is done each night. The store will be disinfected completely overnight to be ready for the following day when they unlock the door at 6 a.m. See if you should be disinfecting your groceries.

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Two-way aisles

Walmart is testing out one-way aisles to prevent shoppers from getting too close to one another, according to Slickdeals. This could help avoid accidental human contact in passing or the spread of any bacteria through the air through a sneeze or cough.

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Walmart cashier checking someone outJEFF GREENBERG/GETTY IMAGES


Walmart announced in May 2021 that it will not require customers or employees to wear masks as long as they are fully vaccinated. Although the change is based on the honor system, employees will have to fill out a health assessment about their vaccination status. They will also receive a $75 bonus as a thank you for getting the vaccine. Some places still have local mask mandates in place so for those locations, Walmart will be following those guidelines. Here are some tips for wearing a mask in hot weather.

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Walmart employee pushing a cart full of product down an aisleJUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

Employees with the sniffles

All Walmart employees will have their temperature taken before entering work each day. Any employee with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be sent home and not allowed to return to work until they have been fever-free for three days. Walmart has also extended its emergency leave policy through September 30, 2021.

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Registers without sneeze guards

Plexiglass partitions will be put up in all stores to limit contact between customers and cashiers. These plastic barriers are already in place at some of the pharmacy lanes of Walmart, will be extended to all stores across the country. Don’t miss these ways dining will change after lockdown.

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SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Customers enter a Walmart store on September 03, 2019 in San Leandro, California. Walmart, America's largest retailer, announced that it will reduce the sales of gun ammunition that can be used in handguns and assault style rifles, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber bullets. The move comes one month after a gunman opened fire on customers at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

No-return policy

Walmart has reverted back to its standard return policy. This means that you are able to exchange or return an item that you are not happy with within 90 days of purchase. The policy does not apply to states with COVID-19 guidelines still in effect, so make sure to see your location’s policies for more information.

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Walmart shopping cart close upFREDERIC J. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES

Dirty shopping carts

Walmart has promised to do a full cleaning and sanitization of the shopping carts after use in order to prevent the passing of infections. Next, check out these 10 things you probably don’t know about Walmart.

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: A Walmart store is seen as the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates on February 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Walmart earned $1.38 a share, short of some analysts expectations for $1.43 per share. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Joe Raedle/Getty Images

No vaccines

As of May 2021, Walmart has the COVID-19 vaccine available at its pharmacies for both scheduled appointments and walk-ins. More than 5,100 pharmacy locations have the vaccine in 49 states including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. Walmart is even teaming up with school districts to get young people their coronavirus vaccine at school. Here’s more on how to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Walmart and Sam’s Club.


  • USA Today: “Walmart, Sam’s Club drop mask rule for fully vaccinated customers and employees after CDC mask guidelines”
  • Walmart: “Walmart’s return policy”
  • Walmart: “Walmart and Sam’s Club Now Administering Walk-Up COVID-19 Vaccines at 5,100+ Pharmacies Nationwide”
  • Walmart: “Walmart Partners With Schools To Administer Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines to Adolescents”
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Originally Published on Reader's Digest