Walmart Is Now Doing This as Soon as You Go in the Store

As COVID cases soar across the country, some safety measures are making a comeback.

With COVID-19 case numbers rising strongly again in all 50 states, some of the safety precautions we haven't seen since the summer surge are making a comeback, like curfews, bars and restaurants closing indoor dining, and new mask requirements. For its part, Walmart is trying to slow the spread, too. In mid-October, the store announced they'd be limiting capacity, and as of Saturday, Walmart has resumed counting customers to monitor capacity in order to restrict crowding and allow social distancing. Read on for the details, and for more on a certain Walmart item that's proven dangerous, check out If You Bought This at Walmart, Throw It Away Now.

Walmart first instituted these restrictions in April at the start of the pandemic, limiting customer numbers to 20 percent of store capacity. But the store eased up on its capacity limit over the last few months when COVID numbers were dropping—moving to only limiting the number of people based on "various state and local ordinances."

"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 percent metering capacity," Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesperson, said in a statement to CNBC. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores." In real terms, this translates roughly to five customers per 1,000 square feet of floor space in each store.

Walmart's capacity limit is particularly important with the arrival of the holiday season and particularly Black Friday sales, which in previous years have caused chaotic, crowded scenes in stores. This year, Walmart is encouraging customers to shop online and use curbside pick-up options, with the Black Friday sale period being spread over three weekends. Walmart's first Black Friday event on toys, electronics, and home products started online on Nov. 4, with the complementary indoor savings event kicking off in stores three days later on Nov. 7. All events are beginning online to encourage at-home shopping. The second sale event began on Nov. 11 and in-store on Nov. 14, and the final Black Friday sale will take place on the fourth weekend of the month, coinciding with actual Black Friday: It kicks off online on Nov. 25 and then arrives in-store the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27).

Customers who do shop in-store will also notice some other differences at Walmart soon, in addition to the store counting customers. Read on to find out what those are, and for more on shopping safely, check out why the Chances Are High Your Grocery Store Clerk Has Silent COVID.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Walmart opens at 5 a.m. for Black Friday sales.

The entrance to a Walmart Supercenter store in California.

While Walmart generally opens up at 7 a.m. every day, on each of the in-store Black Friday event days—Nov. 7, Nov. 14, and Nov. 27—the store opens two hours earlier nationwide.

Single-file lines will form at the entrance.

people stand in line outside of a walmart in Massachusetts wearing masks
Kenneth Martin/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

In order to limit capacity and count customers, Walmart shoppers will have to form a single-file line outside the store.

Walmart "Health Ambassadors" are stationed at store entrances and around the supercenter.

Store employee wearing a face mask due to the Covid-19 Pandemic while stacking boxes
Noushad Thekkayil / Shutterstock

These people will help shoppers maintain social distancing and stick to signage posted throughout the store in order to keep customers and employees safe.

Your shopping cart will be sanitized.

white man wiping down shopping cart

The Health Ambassadors will also help keep your cart clean by wiping down touch points.

And aisles will be marked by one-way shopping stickers.

one way sticker shows which way to shop at the store
SemanticSam / Shutterstock

Look for stickers and signage that let you know which direction to walk through a certain aisle, an effort to avoid customers crowding. And for more Walmart news, check out why You'll Never See These in Walmart Again After a Failed 3-Year Experiment.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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