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Walmart, Disney Require Employee COVID-19 Shots, Update Mask Policy

Walmart and the Walt Disney Co. updated their COVID-19 policies to require certain employees to be vaccinated.

Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report and the Walt Disney Co.  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report on Friday updated their COVID-19 policies to require certain employees to be vaccinated, following new guidance released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to increased Delta variant infections.

Walmart's updated policy requires all of its market, regional and divisional employees that work in multiple facilities and all of its headquarters office associates to be vaccinated by Oct. 4. 

The company said in its statement that it is also increasing its vaccination incentive payments to associates in stores, clubs, transportation offices, distribution centers and fulfillment centers from $75 to $150.  

Workers in stores located in counties with high COVID-19 transmission are required to wear masks. While customers are encouraged to wear masks, they are not required to wear them in stores.

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Disney is requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees working in any of its U.S. sites to be full vaccinated within 60 days. It is also requiring all employees and guests ages 2 and up to wear masks in all indoor locations at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, according to a Friday statement.

Several other major employers, including Google parent Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, Facebook  (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report and Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report have announced requirements for employees returning to work to be vaccinated.

On Tuesday, the CDC updated its guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, urging them to wear masks indoors in public areas of communities where there is high transmission of COVID-19.

Walmart shares on Friday were up slightly at closing by 0.2% to $142.55. Disney stock was down 1.3% to $176.02.

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