Amazon will no longer require its fully vaccinated warehouse employees to wear face masks at work in states that have eased up on mask mandates, the company said in an internal memo Thursday.
The announcement comes as a string of states, including California, Delaware and Oregon, have said they plan to end or scale back their mask mandates soon.
Under the new policy, those who are not yet fully vaccinated or whose states have not scaled back mask regulations must still wear face coverings in Amazon (AMZN) facilities.
“There has been a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases across the country over the past weeks,” the memo said, a copy of which CNN obtained and whose authenticity was confirmed by Amazon. “Along with increasing vaccination rates across the country, this is a positive sign we can return to the path to normal operations.”
Amazon declined to comment further.
In the same memo, the e-commerce giant also announced plans to restrict its offer of Covid-related paid leave.
Starting March 18, the memo said, only fully vaccinated employees will be eligible to receive Covid-19 paid leave in the United States. The restriction does not apply to those with medical or religious exemptions.
Unvaccinated employees that are not eligible for paid leave under the policy may still take up to one week of unpaid leave for Covid isolation or quarantine.