Disney World near Orlando, Florida, run by Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N), has suspended its COVID-19 vaccination mandate, a spokesman said Saturday.
The initiative comes amid the Biden administration’s workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule, which requires companies with at least 100 employees to require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly and wear a face mask at work.
Local TV station Fox 35 was the first to report the news, citing a cast at the resort complex.
A Disney spokesman had previously told Reuters via email: “We believe our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we continue to focus on the safety and well-being of our fellow members and guests.”
“At this point, more than 90% of active Florida-based contributors have already confirmed that they are fully vaccinated,” the spokesman added.
Leaders of Walt Disney Co., along with United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) and others, met with White House officials last month to discuss President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements plan for private sector workers, in the middle of concern that it could exacerbate labor shortages and supply chain problems.
In addition, vaccine mandates are deeply controversial in the United States. Supporters say they are helping end the nearly two-year-old coronavirus pandemic, while opponents claim they are violating the U.S. Constitution and restricting individual freedom.
Biden introduced the claim in September, telling Americans that “our patience is running out” with those refusing to be vaccinated.
Walt Disney Co. had made vaccination mandatory on July 30 for all of its hourly and non-union employees in the United States, as the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant led to a resurgence in the cases at the time.
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