ORLANDO, Fla. (NEXSTAR) — The Walt Disney Company has joined other large companies in requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The company said in a statement Friday that it will be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. who work on site to be fully vaccinated. The statement said employees who aren’t already vaccinated will have 60 days to do so and that those still working from home will need to show proof of vaccination before returning. Disney said it was discussing the vaccine requirements with the union, and added that all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before starting work at the company.
“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” the statement said.
The announcement comes days after the federal Centers for Disease Control changed course on masking guidelines, saying that agency had received new information showing the delta variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people.
New cases and hospitalizations are soaring in Florida, which has again turned into the epicenter of the pandemic concentrating one fifth of the country’s new cases.
Disney announced earlier this week that guests at U.S. theme parks would again be required to wear masks indoors.
Also earlier this week, Google postponed its plans to bring most of its workers back to the office until mid-October. The company is also rolling out a policy that will eventually require all its employees to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened in an attempt to fight the spreading delta variant.
CEO Sundar Pichai told Google’s more than 130,000 worldwide employees in a Wednesday email that the company is now aiming to bring them back to its offices Oct. 18, instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1. He also disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have to be vaccinated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.