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Walmart will require masks in all its Canadian stores starting Aug. 12

Walmart Canada will require all customers and staff to wear a mask or other type of face covering in its stores nationwide, starting Aug. 12.

Company asks customers 'to bring their own face coverings when they shop' at more than 400 stores nationwide

People physically distance while waiting to get into a Walmart store in Guelph, Ont., in this file photo from April 2020. As of Aug. 12, the company will require customers and staff to wear masks at all its Canadian stores. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Walmart Canada will require all customers and staff to wear a mask or other type of face covering in its stores nationwide, starting Aug. 12.

The company says the move is the latest safety measure it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets," corporate affairs manager Felicia Fefer said in an email to CBC News.

Walmart has more than 400 stores in Canada.

Fefer said local government mandates already require face coverings in more than 60 per cent of those stores, but the company wanted to go further and "help bring more consistency across our store network."

"Safety continues to be Walmart's No. 1 priority and we will continue to take measures necessary to ensure the well-being of our customers and associates," she said.

"We trust that customers in the rest of our stores where we are initiating this policy will respect and follow it and will bring their own face coverings when they shop."

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