Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Walmart’s chief executive Doug McMillon said Friday that the retailer’s corporate employees, as well as its executive staff, must be vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 4, according to a memo received by CNBC.

The mandate applies to all home office employees as well as to market, regional and division employees who work in multiple locations, said the country’s largest private employer.

Walmart said it will continue to monitor the health crisis situation to see if it needs to change its plans to return to work. Currently, the company expects the workforce to be close to pre-pandemic levels shortly after Labor Day.

McMillon said the company has been taking a phased approach to bringing workers back and is currently allowing limited capacity.

“We want to get to a place where we can use our offices and be together safely,” he said in the memo. “It’s important to our business, our culture, our speed and our innovation.”

The notification came shortly after Walmart announced that masks would be required for store workers in high-risk countries in the United States, regardless of vaccine status, and with immediate effect, as noted in the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention rankings.

It has also doubled the incentive for employees in shops and warehouses to get a Covid vaccine to $ 150. Employees who have already received the $ 75 incentive will receive an additional $ 75 in their Aug. 19 paycheck, the company said on Friday.

The CDC issued a new recommendation on Tuesday calling for face masks to be worn in areas of the country where the Covid-19 virus is spreading fastest. That covers about two-thirds of all counties in the United States