Amazon changes mask mandate for fully vaccinated workers

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Amazon Echo buds

Amazon is planning on changing its mask requirement for its fully vaccinated workers. The company in the U.S. is the second-largest employer after Walmart.

From this Tuesday, fully vaccinated employees will no longer need to wear a facemask at work unless mandated by local or state law. This is according to a report that Amazon sent to workers, in the U.S. 

According to the notice, Vaccines are available in the U.S. Therefore, vaccination rates continue to grow, enabling the company to return to its previous mask policy.

An Amazon spokesperson approved that the company plans to change its mask policy in its warehouses. The spokesperson added that the company evaluates its Covid safety measures according to guidance from internal medical experts and public health officials.

Meanwhile, the company clearly said that it considers workers fully vaccinated once they show the document. The document should be stating that it has been no less than two weeks since they got their last dose of the Covid vaccine. Simultaneously, workers also need to provide evidence of their vaccination status in an internal employee portal (A to Z) of Amazon.

Earlier in August, Amazon renewed its mask mandate for all employees. This is despite their vaccination status, in the middle of a surge in Covid-19 cases. It resulted from the highly contagious variant (delta). That decision came just several months after Amazon had started easing some Covid-19 rules in warehouses. Those included enabling vaccinated employees to remove their masks at warehouses.

Earlier this year, the company hasn’t mandated vaccines for its workers. However, instead, it has pushed employees to get a vaccine by offering bonuses and running months-long sweepstakes (called “Max Your Vax”). This campaign included cash awards, handing out cars and vacation packages to warehouse and Whole Foods employees.

 

Amazon Award

This year, Amazon gave away $100,000 cash bonuses and cars to vaccinated warehouse workers as part of its campaign. The company announced the campaign on Instagram (Amazon Vest Life account distributing lifestyle content and news for its employees). Its intent was to encourage vaccination among the employees. The campaign offered employees the chance to win cars (worth 40,000$ in total), a $12,000 vacation package, and cash awards (worth between $100,000 and $500,000).

At the end of the campaign, four warehouse workers won cars after providing proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Amazon said in a separate Instagram post that it gave $100,000 cash awards to warehouse and Whole Foods employees for getting vaccinated. According to Amazon, a total of 18 prizes worth approximately $2 million was awarded in the end.

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