There’s a Wrinkle in Stores’ Mask Policies: Enforcement

Christopher Vanderpool works shifts as a “health ambassador” at a Walmart in Fayetteville, N.C., For $11 an hour, he stands in the parking lot asking customers to put on masks before entering the store.

Many abide by the rule. Others, the 18-year-old said, “will say ‘No, I am not wearing that garbage,’ or some expletive.”

“Everyone is so tense,” Mr. Vanderpool said. “I would be scared to confront people.”

Big retailers have made strong statements recently about their new rules requiring customers to wear face masks when shopping, saying that the health of their workers and customers is paramount. But when it comes to enforcing those mandates, the companies are taking a decidedly hands-off approach.