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: Amazon lifts mask requirement for fully vaccinated workers

Amazon.com Inc. has announced that fully vaccinated workers who have logged their vaccination status with the company no longer have to wear face coverings on the job.

The new rule applies to U.S. workers at facilities in state and local areas where mask requirements have been lifted. Anyone who is not vaccinated or hasn’t reported their vaccination status in Amazon’s A to Z system must still wear a mask.

“There has been a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases across the country over the past weeks,” reads a memo sent to Amazon workers that MarketWatch has received. Amazon
AMZN,
+0.73%

has verified the memo.

“Along with increasing vaccination rates across the country, this is a positive sign we can return to the path of normal operations.”

The e-commerce giant has also changed its paid COVID leave policy. Amazon will continue to offer time and $40 pay to allow workers to get vaccine and booster shots. But starting Friday, only workers who have logged on the corporate system to update their status can take advantage of the benefit.

Starting March 18, only those workers who are vaccinated will be eligible for paid leave for COVID-19.

“Vaccinations are widely available and the benefit is clear: being fully vaccinated and getting a booster is the best way to protect yourself,” the memo said.

Amazon employs more than 1.6 million people around the world, according to its most recent earnings release.

Walmart Inc.
WMT,
+0.83%

has also updated its mask and paid leave policy related to COVID-19.

See: Walmart ends mask requirement for vaccinated workers, paid COVID leave to follow

Also: ‘Amazon is not a monopoly’: Earnings show Amazon must rely on alternative businesses, analyst says

Amazon stock is down 4.7% for the past year while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+1.49%

has gained 13.3%.

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