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Amazon lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated warehouse workers


Peter Endig | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon is rolling back its mask requirement for fully vaccinated warehouse workers.

Starting Tuesday, fully vaccinated operations employees in the U.S. will no longer be required to wear a face covering at work, unless mandated by state or local law, according to a notice Amazon sent to workers Friday that was viewed by CNBC.

“Vaccines are universally available across the U.S. and vaccination rates continue to rise which enables the ability to return to our previous mask policy,” the notice states.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company is changing its mask policy in warehouses. Amazon continues to evaluate all of its Covid safety measures based on guidance from public health officials and internal medical experts, the spokesperson added.

Amazon said it considers workers to be fully vaccinated once it has been at least two weeks since they received their final dose of the vaccine. Workers must also provide proof of their vaccination status in Amazon’s internal employee portal, called “A to Z.”

Amazon in August resumed its mask mandate for all frontline employees, regardless of their vaccination status, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases due to the highly contagious delta variant. That decision came just a few months after Amazon had begun relaxing some Covid-19 protocols in warehouses, including allowing vaccinated employees to remove their masks at work.

Amazon, the second-largest employer in the U.S. behind Walmart, hasn’t mandated vaccines for its workers. Instead, it has nudged employees to get inoculated by offering bonuses and running a months-long “Max Your Vax” sweepstakes, which handed out cars, cash awards and vacation packages to a handful of warehouse and Whole Foods employees.

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