Several Large U.S. Banks Drop Mask Mandates: What to Know

by Michael Freeman

Many businesses lately have been dropping required mask mandates and it appears several large United States banks are following suit. However, there are some specifics to know about them.

Among the banks withdrawing the required mask mandate is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The New York Post reports the NYSE said it repealed the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people immediately. Among the NYSE is Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley. All of these banks announced the news last Friday, saying they no longer require staff to wear masks in the office.

Regarding the NYSE, the Intercontinental Exchange owns it and now states masks are optional on the trading floor and public areas. This only holds true for fully vaccinated employees and visitors though. On that note, existing COVID conditions still remain in effect.

Starting Monday, Goldman Sachs stated it will no longer require employees to wear masks at its U.S. offices. A bank spokeswoman informed the New York Post employees may decide if they wish to continue wearing masks or not.

Additionally, JPMorgan stated something similar, saying anyone working out of their U.S. offices may use their own discretion with masks. Interestingly, masks are fully optional, regardless of vaccination status, though the bank reports most of their staff have received vaccinations. For those not vaccinated, contact tracing and mandatory bi-weekly testing will take place.

Finally, Morgan Stanley’s staff aren’t required to wear masks at all since only vaccinated employees are allowed into their buildings.

As COVID cases begin to drop, other U.S. banks are similarly discussing plans to bring staff back into their offices.

Walmart Also Ends its Mask Mandate for Vaccinated Employees

United States banks aren’t the only institutions beginning to ease up with required mask mandates. Corporate giant Walmart recently did the same for its vaccinated employees, which number more than 1.5 million.

Axios reports the plunging COVID cases helped instigate the initiative. The outlet obtained a memo sent out to employees, stating, “Effective immediately, fully vaccinated associates will not be required to wear masks while working in any Walmart or Sam’s Club facility, unless required by a state or local mandate or ordinance.”

This rule change impacts more than 1.6 million employees who work either at Walmart or Sam’s Club facilities across the country. Nonetheless, the company noted it will still abide by local and state ordinances. Further, those working in its pharmacies and health clinics will still wear masks. According to the company’s standards, “fully vaccinated” refers to receiving the full two-dose regimen of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Included also is a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As with the banks already listed, those who still wish to wear a mask may do so.