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Amazon reinstates mask mandate for warehouse workers as Omicron threat looms

Amazon reinstates mask mandate for warehouse workers as Omicron threat looms

Amazon warehouse workers across the US will once again have to wear masks, according to an internal notice obtained by CNBC. The company reinstated its mask mandate as the Omicron version continues to circulate during Amazon's busiest times.

In a message sent to employees, Amazon said that all warehouse workers must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status or local mask requirements. "Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us," the notice said. "In response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 omicron variant in the US and guidance from public health officials and our own medical experts, it is necessary for everyone to wear face coverings again."

Amazon has been changing its stance on the mask mandate throughout the year. The company initially discontinued the facial covering requirement in May and later revived the mask mandate in August. It briefly lifted its mask mandate in November before resuming today.

Companies in the tech industry are taking a very different approach to COVID-19 security requirements. While Amazon hasn't said whether employees will need to be vaccinated, Intel and Google have pushed things a bit further. Intel's non-vaccinated employees could eventually face unpaid leave, and those who still haven't been vaccinated at Google could be laid off or fired next year. Like Amazon, Apple also doesn't require employees to vaccinate and has instead asked unvaccinated employees to be tested more often – recently, Apple has shut down several stores due to the COVID-19 outbreak among employees. have been closed.

The Verge reached out to Amazon with a request for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

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