Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Biden administration has issued additional guidance related to workplace changes as more employees become vaccinated against the Coronavirus, addressing situations in which “operational challenges”—which it does not specifically define—may arise.

The guidance is the latest related to the relaxation policies related to those who are “fully vaccinated”—at least two weeks past their second dose, for the vaccines that require two, or two weeks past the only dose required of the other.

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Under recent CDC guidance, such persons generally need not wear a mask or physically distance in federal buildings or on federal lands, except where specific requirements apply such as in health-care settings. Those who are not fully vaccinated remain subject to prior requirements regarding mask wearing and physical distancing.

Says the new guidance, “Agencies should seek to implement new masking and physical distancing guidance for fully vaccinated individuals as soon as possible, consistent with any applicable collective bargaining obligations. In certain circumstances, agencies may have workplaces where implementation of the new requirements raises significant operational challenges because of the nature of the worksite or the work performed there.

“In such cases, agencies may take additional time as needed to resolve any operational concerns prior to implementing the guidance,” it says.

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