NEW YORK (Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase & Co told employees on Tuesday that fully vaccinated staff do not have to wear masks at its U.S.-based offices, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Employees are asked to enter their vaccination status into an online database organized by the bank. Employees who have not been vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering in all public and common spaces, private offices and meeting rooms, according to the memo.
The change in policy comes one day after the bank began requiring employees to return to work in offices, and it follows similar moves by Walmart Inc, Target and others that lifted mask-wearing mandates in accordance with the U.S. government’s new guidance.
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.
Employees working at its Chase bank branches or in receivables operations will still have to wear masks, the company said, “due to the high levels of client interaction (and) other factors,” according to the memo, which was verified by a bank spokeswoman.
Employees may also need to wear masks in some common areas, like lobbies in buildings where JPMorgan is leasing its offices. Staff should also continue practicing social distancing and must complete daily health checks at all bank facilities, the company said.
But for fully vaccinated employees, “life in the office will be a bit closer to what it used to be,” the memo said.
JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon has been a strong advocate for the COVID-19 vaccines and has said the bank is looking into whether it can legally require staff to get the shots.
“We strongly believe that the more people who are vaccinated, the safer we all are from the spread and impact of COVID-19,” the bank said in the unsigned memo.
JPMorgan on Monday began requiring its employees to return to work at offices in the United States at least for a few days each week. The bank’s goal is for nearly all employees to return to working in the office on a rotational basis by July.
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