Amazon imposes vaccine mandate

In order to receive paid leave due to COVID-19, Amazon workers in the US must have reported being fully vaccinated by 18th March. As of last week, fully vaccinated staff have been allowed to work without a face mask as local regulations permit.

The new policies have been put down to a recent decline in infection and death rates in the US that has been partly attributed to increases in vaccination rates, and also as health authorities have relaxed their stance toward the pandemic.

“This is a positive sign we can return to the path to normal operations,” the company’s message said.

Through the pandemic, some have questioned Amazon’s health and safety policies towards COVID-19, with many staff feeling the online giant isn’t doing enough to protect them. Those who have not been vaccinated will not be paid for their time off for a week of COVID isolation, and this could mean efforts to conceal their infection and ultimately lead to outbreaks in its units.

It is the second biggest private employer behind Walmart in the US with more than 1.6 million staff worldwide. There are exceptions to the requirements on basis of religious or medical exemptions.

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