Wall Street begins to drop mask mandates

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Mask mandates on Wall Street are becoming a thing of the past as some of the biggest players in finance are relaxing stringent requirements for vaccinated employees, FOX Business has learned.   

As omicron infections are slowing across the country, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and the New York Stock Exchange are no longer requiring masks for fully-vaccinated employees.

New York Stock Exchange 

Management at the New York Stock Exchange announced at an internal town hall Thursday that masks are no longer mandatory on the trading floor for fully-vaccinated employees as of Friday, people with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to FOX Business. NYSE is not requiring booster shots to be considered fully vaccinated at this time. However, people who visit the Big Board as guests will need to show proof of vaccination status as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of visiting, before entering without a mask. Management said they would revisit that policy in the coming weeks.  

"I’m pleased we’re taking another step forward to returning to a sense of normalcy," one trader told FOX Business. "It’s been a very long two years."  

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An internal memo sent out by JPMorgan management Friday morning stated that masks are now completely voluntary in all U.S. offices for individuals who have been fully vaccinated unless there are more stringent local restrictions in place. Those local restrictions refer to branch offices in areas of the country where mandates remain in effect and where local guidelines will override company policy.  

The memo also outlines the company’s definition of "fully vaccinated," which is an employee who has received at least the first two shots and updated their vaccine status in the company’s database. Booster shots are not required for employees at this time.   

Workers who have not received a vaccine or have not reported their status will still be required to wear a mask in public spaces and participate in twice-weekly mandatory testing, the JPMorgan memo stated.   

New York Stock Exchange floor. New York City, NY. (Fox News)

The memo also noted that many employees have now returned to the office with a "large percentage" of its workforce vaccinated.   

Goldman Sachs is also dropping its mask mandates, making them optional starting Monday, a Goldman spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.  

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A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley confirmed to FOX Business that as of February 1st, masks are no longer required at vaccine-only locations unless otherwise mandated.   

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 07, 2022, in New York City. (Getty Images)

The move to ease mandates come as the number of new COVID-19 cases are slowing, and according to data from the CDC, the number of people in hospital with the virus has dropped more than 63% over the past month.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser for President Biden, said in an interview published Tuesday that the U.S. is almost past the "full-blown" pandemic phase of the coronavirus.   

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul dropped her statewide mask mandate that impacts both private and public sector employees on Wednesday, citing "tremendous progress" battling the virus in New York State.  

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