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Large U.S. banks to drop mask mandate in U.S. offices; NYSE follows suit

Randy Mancini 3 Feb 11
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Goldman Sachs is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Goldman Sachs is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

February 12, 2022

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange is withdrawing its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people effective immediately, a source said on Friday, after several large U.S. banks also dropped their mask requirements at their U.S. offices. The NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc, is now making masks optional on the trading floor and other public areas for fully vaccinated personnel and visitors, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, adding that the existing COVID-19 polices would still remain in place.

The exchange joins investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley, which also said on Friday that they were dropping the requirement for staff to wear masks in the office.

Goldman Sachs will no longer require masks to be worn by employees at its U.S. offices from Monday and will leave it to individuals to decide if they want to mask up, a spokeswoman at the bank said.

For fully vaccinated employees of JPMorgan working out of their U.S. offices, masks have been made completely voluntary, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

A large percentage of JPMorgan’s staff has been vaccinated, the memo sent to all U.S. employees said, adding that contact tracing and mandatory bi-weekly testing will be carried out for unvaccinated staff entering the offices.

Staff at Morgan Stanley’s offices will not be required to wear masks, a spokeswoman for the bank said, as only vaccinated employees are allowed into their buildings.

Major U.S. banks have rolled out plans to bring their staff back to office in recent weeks after the number of COVID-19 cases registered a drop.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham and David Henry in New York, Anirudh Saligrama and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sandra Maler)