Beginning on Saturday, Walmart will resume restricting the number of customers in its stores and monitoring customers for symptoms of the Coronavirus. The move is hardly surprising, as cases in the U.S. skyrocket, and the situation deteriorates beyond the scope of the pandemic's initial months.
"We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time our stores didn't reach our self-imposed 20% metering capacity," says Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores."
Walmart is approaching the reinstatement of COVID measures similarly to how it had early in the pandemic, pushing customers to use its online storefront or curbside pickup options. At Walmart stores, customers will have to wait outside until being admitted by store staff. Stores will be limited to 20% capacity, with social distancing enforced through one-way aisles and patrolling staff.
The reinstatement of previous COVID measures is bolstered by Walmart's plans for the holiday shopping season, which will see the retailer spreading Black Friday deals across several consecutive weeks-long sales, with online sales being the focus of the company's effort to try and reduce in-store traffic.
Walmart is joined in its negation efforts by Costco, which has removed exemptions to its mask rules. Other retailers and grocers are reinstating previous measures as well, with Kroger
The odd toilet paper bulk-buying phenomenon also seems to have resurfaced.