By David Shepardson
General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV said in a joint statement with the union the move is in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) change in COVID-19 guidance for masks for fully vaccinated people related to the Delta variant.
The CDC said last week fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in public spaces in places with substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission rates. The CDC said on Monday that almost 80% of U.S. counties are now at those levels.
At least one major international automaker also plans to reinstate mask requirements for employees later this week, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters.
In June, the U.S. automakers and UAW announced that fully vaccinated workers at their U.S. factories would not have to wear masks on the job beginning on July 12. Numerous automakers operating in the United States had already begun lifting pandemic mask mandates as cases declined.
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)