Fact Check

No, Walmart Did Not Say in Sept. 2021 That Customers in Canada Would Need Vaccination Proof

A bogus meme, presented as an official company announcement, was widely shared on social media in September 2021.

Published Sep 28, 2021

Updated Jan 25, 2022
 (Meme)
Image Via Meme
Claim:
In September 2021, Walmart Canada announced that, beginning in November, in-store customers would be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Context

Contrary to a then-circulating rumor, Walmart Canada made no such announcement in September 2021. Months later, in January 2022, a new vaccine mandate took effect in Quebec, and Walmart announced that its Quebec locations would comply by requiring that customers older than 13 show proof of vaccination to enter.

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In September 2021, Snopes readers inquired about widely-shared social media posts which claimed that Walmart Canada had announced that, beginning on Nov. 1 of that year, it would be requiring customers who wished to enter its stores to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19, as well as government-issued ID.

Those claims were false, and a meme shared online, which was presented as an official Walmart announcement, was bogus.

The meme contained the Walmart logo, along with the headline "Proof of vaccination required," and the following text:

EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1ST, 2021 SHOPPERS
WILL NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF
VACCINATION AND GOVERNMENT ISSUED ID IN
ORDER TO ENTER ANY WALMART IN CANADA.

WE WILL STILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER CURBSIDE
PICK UP TO THOSE UNVACCINATED.

THANK YOU

WALMART OF CANADA

Walmart Canada - Proof of Vaccination Required (Meme)

It was shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Notably, we found no instance in which the purportedly official announcement was accompanied by a link to Walmart Canada's website or social media accounts — a red flag that the meme was likely not authentic.

Adam Grachnik, director of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, confirmed for Snopes that the company had never made any such announcement and does not have a policy of requiring customers to show proof of vaccination in order to enter stores, but noted that: "We continue to work with governments across the country and are following required restrictions."

Update: In January 2022, new regulations took effect in Quebec mandating that certain retailers (such as Walmart) require all customers over the age of 13 to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they can enter stores. As a result, Walmart tweeted the following statement on Jan. 24:

Updates

Updated [Jan. 26, 2022]: Added Walmart's announcement that it would comply with Quebec's new vaccine mandate in January 2022.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.

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