Amazon Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) have lifted their masks rules for fully-vaccinated employees, according to company memos. The only exceptions will be those states where the use of the artifact is mandatory.
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No More Masks
As reported by CBS News, Amazon and Walmart employees who are fully vaccinated will be spared the obligatory use of masks, as both companies are taking notice of how US states are lifting the rule.
On Friday, Walmart told its 1.6 million employees that those who are fully vaccinated will not require to use face covers in Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities, while “Unvaccinated workers and those in health clinics and pharmacies will still need to wear masks.”
In a memo, the company said: “Though vaccinated associates are no longer required to wear a mask in our facilities, we support and respect an individual’s choice to continue wearing one.”
Walmart had introduced mask mandates in July 2020 and rolled back the measure in May last year. However, as Omicron surged, the retailer decided to reinstate their use.
Walmart is following the steps of its rival, Amazon, which told its fully-vaccinated workers they could drop the mask while at work. The updated policy is “based on guidance from public health authorities as well as our own medical experts,” the company said.
Further, CBS reported, only Amazon employees who have received at least one shot could go on paid leave due to COVID-19, “and only those who are fully vaccinated will be offered the benefit as of March 18.”
The retail giant attributed its policy updates to a recent decline in Covid cases across the country, rising vaccination rates, and guidance from its medical experts and public health authorities.
Amazon’s Covid protocols have faced scrutiny during the pandemic as safety measures taken by the company have been criticized by some workers.
Walmart and Amazon are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.