Unionized auto workers in the U.S. who have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will no longer have to wear face masks at work.
A virus task force with representatives from Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis) and the United Auto Workers union made the decision Monday. It's effective July 12.
About 150,000 factory workers from all three companies have been wearing masks, keeping safe distances, cleaning equipment and taking other precautions since factories reopened in May of last year. Other precautions will remain in place.
General Motors' Arlington Assembly Plant was temporarily shut down last March as part of a nationwide "systematic orderly suspension of manufacturing operations in North America" due to the spread of COVID-19.
The task force reviewed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and other standards before making the decision, the UAW said in a statement Tuesday. The companies will comply with all state and local regulations.
Workers won't have to show proof of vaccinations to take off their masks.