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American businesses put on a mask again

Posted July. 30, 2021 07:21,   

Updated July. 30, 2021 07:21


U.S. President Joe Biden put on a mask indoors for the first time in two months due to the spread of the Delta strain.

Biden met with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Wednesday at the White House, wearing a mask. He had not worn a mask since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alleviated the mask rule in May. He observed the institution’s recommendation published on Tuesday to wear a mask indoors even after vaccination.

Major businesses such as Google and Facebook as well as state governments all imposed stronger quarantine rules.

The Associated Press reported that Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will make vaccination mandatory for U.S. employees and have most of its workforce back to the offices beginning on October 18 instead of September 1 in a worldwide email. Facebook also made vaccination mandatory for employees in the U.S on the same day.

According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to instruct its staff and customers to wear a mask in U.S. stores regardless of their vaccination status. It advised store staff to get vaccinated if possible. Ford instructed employees and visitors in Missouri and Florida where the virus is rapidly spreading to wear a mask. Morgan Stanley announced that it will not allow unvaccinated employees or customers in its New York office. BlackRock also announced that it will open its offices only to fully vaccinated staff.

State governments also started to put pressure on government officials to get vaccinated after media outlets reported that the Biden administration will soon announce ways to make vaccination mandatory for all government employees. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that some 130,000 state government workers should be vaccinated. If they refuse vaccination, they should test for the virus once a week. The City of New York announced that it will give 100 dollars (around 115,000 won) to fully vaccinated employees.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com