Jun 21 2021
Masks for hotel staff optional for people vaccinated against COVID, according to American Hotel & Lodging Association
The American Hotel and Lodging Association is relaxing facial coverage and physical distancing requirements for employees of vaccinated hotels.
According to a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, the updated guidelines are to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“In response to increasing immunization rates across the country and in our workforce, and in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidelines, the hospitality industry supports vaccinated employees with the choice to continue to wear face coverings in accordance with state and local laws, ”Rogers said. “This policy change for vaccinated employees is the result of our industry’s continued commitment to encourage vaccinations and recognition of all employees who have received a vaccine. “
According to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, although COVID-19 vaccines are more available than ever, fewer people are lining up to get vaccinated. The state missed Governor Charlie Baker’s target of 4.1 million fully vaccinated residents in early June. The state hit 4.1 million on Friday.
The last survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows steady progress in immunization in the United States, with 62% of adults reporting having received at least one injection, up from 56% in April. The share of people saying they will ‘wait and see’ has increased from 15% to 12%.
Rogers said AHLA previously said fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings or practice physical distancing. Even with the new guidelines, the case is still the same for unvaccinated employees and guests must continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing at all times in common areas.
“Above all, the safety of employees and guests remains our top priority. Throughout the pandemic, hotels have responded to the challenge of the public health crisis through Safe Stay, an industry-wide set of health and safety protocols, ”said Rogers. “Safe Stay will continue to evolve to align with the current environment and CDC and OSHA guidelines for ensuring the safety of travelers and hotel employees.”