Disney World near Orlando, Florida, operated by Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), has suspended its vaccination mandate against COVID-19, a spokesman said Saturday.
The move comes amid the Biden administration’s 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 face coverings at work.
Local TV channel Fox 35 was the first to report the news, citing a cast member at the resort complex.
A Disney spokesperson had previously emailed Reuters: “We believe our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we have continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our Cast Members and Guests.”
“Right now, more than 90% of active Cast Members in Florida have already verified that they are fully vaccinated,” the spokesperson added.
Walt Disney Co. executives, 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 vaccination plan for private sector workers. discuss, out of concern that this could worsen working conditions and supply chain shortages.
In addition, vaccine mandates are highly controversial in the United States. Proponents say they are helping end the nearly two-year coronavirus pandemic, while opponents claim they are violating the US Constitution and curbing individual freedom.
Biden made the demand in September, telling Americans that “we are running out of patience” with those who refuse to be vaccinated.
Walt Disney Co. had mandated vaccination for all of its on-site salaried and non-union workers in the United States on July 30, as the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 strain caused an upsurge at the time.