US government agencies start dropping mask requirements

US government agencies start dropping mask requirements

The U.

S.

Defense and Justice departments are no longer requiring masks be worn indoors at Washington-area facilities, reports said, following the latest COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other agencies are expected to follow suit this week.

The change affects about 20,000 military and civilian employees at the Pentagon.

The Justice Department said masks are no longer required at its operated buildings in Washington and will implement new workplace policies, “including a phased increase in onsite presence, over the next two months.

” Facilities outside Washington must follow the CDC’s community level guidance, it added.

The White House told federal agencies they can stop requiring employees and visitors to wear masks in federal buildings in much of the country, reports said.

The White House-led Safer Federal Workforce Task Force said federal facilities in counties with low or medium COVID-19 community levels can drop the mask requirement, regardless of vaccination status.

About 70% of U.

S.

countries covering 72% of the U.

S.

population are listed as having low or medium levels.

The White House directed agencies to revise federal employee masking and testing rules no later than Friday.

The District of Columbia, where most federal agencies are based, is listed as having low COVID-19 community levels, along with nearby suburbs of Virginia and Maryland, which are home to the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and many other agencies.

The White House lifted requirements for fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks on the White House campus, but testing, providing vaccination information, and other COVID-19 protocols remain in place.

Federal mask requirements at airports, train stations and on buses, airplanes and trains remain in place at least through March 18 and could be extended.

 
Reuters
US government agencies start dropping mask requirements

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