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Major US banks to drop mask mandate in US offices; NYSE follows suit

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 (ICE.N), 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 policies would still remain in place. The exchange joins investment banks such as Goldman Sachs (GS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N), 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.

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