AHLA says vaccinated hotel workers may opt to forego masks

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has reversed course on its mask guidance for hotel employees, with the organization now recommending that vaccinated workers may opt to forgo face coverings. 

While the AHLA had updated its guidance in mid-May to allow for vaccinated guests to go unmasked, the group had asked that all hotel staff members, vaccinated or not, continue to wear masks indoors.

According to the AHLA, the change has been made in response to increasing vaccination rates across the country as well as recent updates in guidance from both the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“The hotel industry supports vaccinated employees being given the choice whether to continue wearing face coverings, in accordance with state and local laws,” said AHLA CEO Chip Rogers in a statement. “This change in policy for vaccinated employees is a result of our industry’s ongoing commitment to encourage vaccinations and a recognition of all employees who have received a vaccine.”

Rogers, however, emphasized that unvaccinated guests and employees should continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing in hotel common areas and that vaccinated guests and employees should remain welcome to wear masks if they so choose. 

The updates in guidance from the CDC, the AHLA and other organizations come as some hotel union groups express uncertainty about guests being able to go maskless based on an “honor system” policy.

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